One of the largest investment brokerage firm in the United States is not getting into cryptocurrencies for now. Charles Schwab, which has $3.3 trillion worth of assets under management, dismissed cryptos at a time when most of its competitors are making aggressive moves into the industry. According to Rob Farmer, the company’s managing director for corporate communications, Schwab will steer clear “at least for now.”
“Investors should view these currencies as a purely speculative instrument,” he told investment outlet RIABiz.
The response isn’t entirely surprising, Tim Welsh, the president of Nexus Strategy believes. Schwab has had a history of sticking to its ways unless forced otherwise, he explained, describing the Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger as “the king of the status quo.”
He commented, “He’ll never willingly upset the apple-cart, unless the market forces him to do so. Until [Schwab’s] biggest advisors demand they do something, they will continue their sleepwalk through innovation.”
Granted, the brokerage firm has $3.3 trillion worth of assets under its management, over 10 times the size of the entire crypto market capitalization. However, venturing into the industry at this time would be prudent as it would give them a front seat as cryptos continue to take over.
Some of Schwab’s rivals have already started making their mark on the industry, led by Fidelity whose crypto platform went live in March and which also provides crypto custody services. State Street has also been developing DLT solutions for its clients as well as providing backing for Gemini’s stablecoin, GUSD.
However, there’s still a chance that Schwab will venture into crypto in the future. If it ever does, Chris Dodds, a board member and former CFO of the firm, could be instrumental. Dodds joined the board of America’s largest crypto exchange Coinbase last year.
Despite initial skepticism, Wall Street has taken up interest on cryptos in recent years. While Fidelity is the leader in this emerging mainstream crypto integration, other firms are staking their claims. TD Ameritrade has looked into crypto spot trading, being one of the firms involved in a testing phase with Chicago-based Eris crypto exchange.
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