PwC crypto lead expects “many more” big banks to enter market in 2019

PwC Hong Kong crypto lead expects more participants in the cryptocurrency space this year despite ongoing bear market and widespread regulatory concerns.

The FinTech and crypto lead at PwC Hong Kong believes many more ‘big banks’ will enter the digital asset space in 2019, despite the continuing bear market and widespread regulatory concerns.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Henri Arslanian of PwC said banks could take one of a number of different approaches.

“In 2018 we saw a lot of the big banks enter the space and in 2019 I expect many more to enter the space as well, in different ways, some of them may decide to launch their own solutions, like Fidelity did here in the US by setting up a new company,” he added. “Others may try to partner with some of the other crypto firms a bit like Nomura did with Ledger, and others may try to invest in crypto companies a bit like Goldman did with BitGo and Circle.

“This is very good because it will bring the kind of level of institutional expertise and experience to the sector which is something the crypto industry needs especially at a time like today.”

Interest from banks in cryptocurrency servicing has been relatively muted despite a year of debate over their role in the new digital asset ecosystem.

While the aforementioned Goldman Sachs, Fidelity and Nomura have all made moves during the past year, they will be aware of the existing issues around regulation, custody and volatility.

Investment banks will have kept their eyes on cryptocurrencies over the past year, however they are yet to fully enter the fray.