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Bank of America launches crypto research

"Bitcoin is important...but the digital asset ecosystem is so much more.”

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Bank of America, one of Wall Street’s largest banks, has launched digital asset research as it looks to scale its crypto trading business.

The bank formed a specialist unit to feed growing institutional demand for exposure to the crypto ecosystem over the summer of 2021, led by Alkesh Shah, head of Global Cryptocurrency and Digital Asset Strategy.

"Bitcoin is important," said Shah, "but the digital asset ecosystem is so much more. Our research aims to explore the implications across industries including finance, technology, supply chains, social media and gaming."

Digital assets, the bank said in a media statement, represent a $2trn market value with 200 million users, and have the “potential to transform every industry by improving efficiency and reducing friction across transactions.” 

Bank of America says it sees crypto and digital assets more broadly as providing enticing investment opportunities through a “variety of lenses”. These include “tokens that act like operating systems”, applications powered by smart contracts, stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies, central bank digital currencies and non-fungible tokens.

"Digital assets are transforming the way in which markets, businesses and central banks operate," said Candace Browning, head of BofA Global Research. 

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