The Bank of America has launched digital asset research and said the potential of the crypto space was “difficult to overstate” in a new report.
The new research team will be led by Alkesh Shah, head of Global Cryptocurrency and Digital Asset Strategy. It comes after the bank estimated that the sector represents a $2tn (£1.46tn) market value with more than 200m worldwide users.
“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.”
His comments were echoed by Candace Browning, head of Bank of America’s Global Research.
“Digital assets are transforming the way in which markets, businesses and central banks operate,” said Browning. “Bank of America offers a market-leading global payments platform and blockchain expertise, and the addition of digital asset research further strengthens the depth and breadth of our offerings for investors.”
The report concluded that crypto has the potential to transform every industry by improving efficiency and reducing friction across transactions. The bank, which has around 66m customers, said that the hundreds of companies forming within this new digital ecosystem constitute a new asset class.
The primer provided an investment framework for the crypto landscape, looking at tokens, smart contracts, stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies, central bank digital currencies that could replace money and non-fungible tokens.
Far from being the only bank to launch research into digital assets Bank of America follows the likes of Standard Chartered and Morgan Stanley which have already begun exploring the crypto ecosystem amid surging investor demand.