Bank of America has created a team dedicated to researching cryptocurrencies and related technologies, according to a report from Bloomberg Thursday.
In an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg, Candace Browning, Bank of America’s head of global research, said cryptocurrencies and digital assets are “one of the fastest-growing emerging technology ecosystems.”
“We are uniquely positioned to provide thought leadership due to our strong industry research analysis, market-leading global payments platform and our blockchain expertise,” Browning wrote.
Bank of America has flirted with blockchain technology, crypto’s more respectable cousin, for years. In 2018, it filed a patent application for a permissioned, or invite-only, blockchain to record internet-of-things (IoT) node data, one of many such patents pursued by the company, and in 2019, it began hiring for several blockchain positions.
But Bank of America has been slower than rival megabanks – such as JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, which recently reopened its crypto trading desk – to wade into crypto. The new crypto research team suggests that things might be changing at the second-largest U.S. bank by assets.
The group will be headed by B of A veteran Alkesh Shah, a founding member of the bank’s data and innovation strategy group, and will report to Michael Maras, head of the bank’s global fixed-income, currencies and commodities research team.