Bitcoin is continuing to gain wider acceptance within mainstream financial circles after it was announced that BNY Mellon would launch a new digital assets unit to explore enterprise solutions involving cryptocurrencies.
"BNY Mellon is proud to be the first global bank to announce plans to provide an integrated service for digital assets," Roman Regelman, CEO of Asset Servicing and Head of Digital at BNY Mellon, said. "Growing client demand for digital assets, maturity of advanced solutions, and improving regulatory clarity present a tremendous opportunity for us to extend our current service offerings to this emerging field. Pending further evaluations and approvals, we expect to begin offering these innovative and industry-shaping capabilities later this year."
The announcement comes just a few days after Tesla founder Elon Musk revealed that his company had purchased Bitcoin equivalent to $1.5 billion and would soon accept the cryptocurrency as a form of payment for its vehicles. From once being a niche, underground phenomenon, Bitcoin is now surely worth serious consideration for both individuals in both consumer and business finance circles.
- We've built a list of the best Bitcoin wallets out there
- Here's our list of the best mining rigs right now
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Unsurprisingly, the positive news surrounding cryptocurrencies of late has resulted in a price surge for its most famous offering. Bitcoin hit a record valuation of $48,481.45 earlier this week and has risen in value by approximately 66% this year alone. Since mid-March, the currency has grown in value by a staggering 1,200%.
Bitcoin is also far from the only cryptocurrency surging in value. Ether, the currency native to the Ethereum blockchain, also reached a record high earlier this month following the news that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange would allow the trading of Ethereum futures contracts.
Although cryptocurrencies have not completely shaken off their reputation as an instrument for illegal activity, and environmental concerns remain about the energy-intensive mining process, recent developments certainly point towards a stable future, in the medium-term at least. The question remains: For how much longer can their value continue to climb?
- Here's our list of the best Bitcoin exchanges around
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Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services. After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.