The latest research by CoinGecko showed that 37 of the top-50 largest global banks by assets in 2023 facilitate crypto trading. However, none of these banks currently offer retail crypto trading or on-ramping from their own platforms.
In 2023, as the report noted, the world's largest 50 banks collectively oversaw an impressive $89,37 trillion in assets. The majority of these institutions hail from the two leading economies, the United States and China.
As for the United States, 6 of the country's largest banks are in the top-50. Europe has a total of 18 financial institutions ranked in the list, including the banks of France, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and the UK.
There are also Japan, Canada, and Australia having a positive stance on crypto trading.
The banks support crypto trading by connecting with regulated exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase. Exchanges enable customers to seamlessly transfer funds from their traditional bank accounts into crypto assets and back.
Institutional trading remains robust
As stated in the report, over the last several years, institutional clients have been the ones to use the blockchain technology at big banks like JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Société Générale.
In 2019, JPMorgan developed its own cryptocurrency, JPM Coin, that operates on a private version of Ethereum.
In 2021, Goldman Sachs formed a cryptocurrency trading team to enable clients to trade in Bitcoin futures.
And this year, Société Générale announced the launch of EURCV stablecoin on Ethereum. The stablecoin is available for institutional investors to “bridge the gap between traditional capital markets and the digital assets ecosystem”.
All the 13 banks that do not support crypto trading are based in China, managing a remarkable $19,87 trillion in assets, which accounts for over 20% of the total combined assets held by these global financial giants.
China banned the use of transactions in virtual assets and mining back in 2021. Across Asia, only Hong Kong appears to be more open to cryptocurrencies, as it has been inviting crypto exchanges to operate in the city.
Nevertheless, with Hong Kong opening its doors to welcome crypto exchanges to the region, the Chinese government might be under influence to change its opinion about the world of digital assets. Moreover, China is rumored to be already working on the digital version of the country’s national currency, the yuan.
Another country listed in the top-50 with uncertain views on crypto is India. In 2018, banks were banned from dealing with digital assets, and the government even issued their own e-currency in order to discourage crypto trading. But later, the Supreme Court rejected the prohibition, and now the State Bank of India supports virtual assets transactions.
Why is it hard for banks to accept crypto
According to CoinGecko, compared to other sectors, big banks have been relatively slow in embracing blockchain-based solutions.
The reason lies behind strict regulations, market volatility, and recent problems of such large market participants as FTX. All those factors are an obstacle for integrating crypto trading into these major financial institutions.