Crypto adoption has boomed within traditional and institutional circles in the past year, with the nascent market even touching the $2 trillion earlier this year on the back of billions of dollars in institutional and retail capital.
And it’s only just beginning. As per a recent report from crypto research firm Blockdata, over fifty five of the world’s biggest financial institutions have already invested in crypto- and blockchain-related startups.
“The most active investors based on the number of investments in blockchain companies are Barclays (19), Citigroup (9), Goldman Sachs (8), JPMorgan Chase (7) and BNP Paribas (6),” the firm noted, adding:
“The investors active in the biggest funding rounds are Standard Chartered, BNY Mellon, Citigroup, UBS Group, and BNP Paribas.”
As per a separate report from Business Insider, Standard Chartered is an investor in payments processor and XRP issuer Ripple, with the latter’s investors including the likes of Bank of America and American Express.
BNY Mellon, another financial powerhouse, already offers crypto custodian services and has made strategic investments in Fireblocks, a digital assets infrastructure provider.
Who is investing the most and where?
As per the report, Standard Chartered leads with the biggest crypto cheques with over $380 million invested over six rounds. The bank is followed by BNY Mellon ($320.69 million over five rounds), Citigroup ($279.49 million over nine rounds), UBS Group ($266.2 million over 5 rounds), and BNP Paribas ($236.05 million over nine rounds).
As for where the funds are going, the candidate is a rather predictable one: Data shows crypto custodian and storage services are gaining most of the investments from financial institutions, with 23 of the top hundred banks either building custody solutions or investing in the companies that provide them.
Such services are integral to the growth of the broader space. The storage and safety of one’s assets—despite crypto being an entirely ownable, peer-to-peer asset class—remains paramount when the value of said assets is billions of dollars.
“Not everyone feels comfortable holding full control over their wealth, especially companies or institutional investors that hold large amounts,” explained Blockdata in its report. A Ledger or Trezor just doesn’t make the cut.