As in many other areas of innovation, large financial institutions are not going to be left out of this change and will have to progressively integrate digital assets into their services. Moreover, the role of banks is fundamental in helping official bodies on the necessary path towards the regulation and distribution of these at scale.
The announcement that Diem, a cryptocurrency backed by Facebook, will be launched as a stablecoin at the end of this year; the different projects of some central banks to create their own digital currencies in China, Japan or Europe; the IPO of the cryptocurrency firm Coinbase; bitcoin fever; the recent announcement by Visa and Paypal that they will accept the use of digital currencies in the US despite the lack of a clear legal framework; and, above all, the progress of MiCA (the Commission's regulation of digital assets that will affect the whole of the EU) show that there is a wide plethora of different mainstream digital asset projects in this area and that banks need to take action now.
Some banks have already taken their first steps. BBVA, for example, offers its customers the purchase, sale and custody of bitcoins, although for the time being only through its subsidiary in Switzerland. The bank has already communicated its interest in extending these services to other countries as soon as this matter is regulated. For its part, Solaris Bank has created its own digital assets custody service, which it offers to its customers in Germany and other institutions -not to mention the launch of Sygnum Bank a couple of years ago in Switzerland, a bank solely focused on digital assets.