Banks Want to Be a Bridge to Bitcoin. How to Invest.

First American News LLC: Raleigh, NC: Investors now buy Bitcoin through exchanges like Coinbase COIN or apps like PayPal. That could change as banks start muscling into crypto trading and custody services.

Some 300 banks are planning to roll out Bitcoin trading on mobile apps in the first half of 2022, according to a report this week by J.P. Morgan. Many of these banks are working with NYDIG, a Bitcoin financial services firm that has already made some inroads into the banking sector, including a subcustody deal with U.S. Bank.

“While fintechs and crypto-native companies have the head start in connecting retail customers to crypto, some forward-thinking banks are now fast followers with the help of companies like NYDIG,” said J.P. Morgan analyst Steven Alexopoulos in the note.

Alexopoulos highlighted Synovus Financial as a bank that is jumping into Bitcoin. Synovus, a regional bank with $57.4 billion in assets, discussed plans to offer crypto trading to retail customers at its investor-day presentation this week.

“We’ve entered the crypto space…with NYDIG,” Synovus said. The company added that it is evaluating “money movement on the blockchain,” and said crypto payments and digital banking will be focuses in 2022.

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