Brazil’s Biggest Bank Itau Enters Cryptocurrency Trading
From Banking to Bitcoin - Itau's Bold Move Signals Institutional Crypto Embrace.
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Itau Unibanco, Brazil’s largest bank, has launched a cryptocurrency trading service for its investment platform clients, marking its entry into the digital asset exchange market.
The service will initially support trading of Bitcoin and Ether. However, the bank plans to expand its offerings in the future, according to Guto Antunes, the head of digital assets at Itau.
“It starts with Bitcoin, but our overarching strategic plan is to expand to other crypto assets in the future,” Antunes said.
He added that any expansion would depend on the evolution of crypto regulation in the country.
Itau aims to compete with local entities such as crypto exchange MB and investment bank BTG Pactual’s digital assets unit Mynt, as well as international giants like Binance.
One distinctive feature that Itau aims to leverage is its role as a custodian, providing an added layer of security for users’ assets. Antunes highlighted this aspect, stating, “Itau will stand out from rivals as it also acts as a custodian, safeguarding users’ assets.”
This development comes just a month after two local players, brokerage and investments company XP and financial services firm PicPay, announced their exit from the crypto market. While XP did not provide a reason for its decision, PicPay, cited regulatory uncertainties as the reason for its departure from the Brazilian market.