- Itau Unibanco has made a foray into the crypto industry.
- The bank launched a crypto trading service.
- The service will initially focus on two crypto assets.
Brazilian banker and lender Itau Unibanco has officially ventured into digital assets with a crypto trading service for customers on its investment platform.
Founded through the merger of Banco Itaú and Unibanco in 2008, Itau Unibanco is Latin America’s biggest private sector lender, with a value of around $439.5 billion. In the 2023 April-to-June period, the bank posted a recurring net profit of $151 million.
Itau Unibanco Launches a Crypto Trading Service
According to a Reuters report dated December 4, Itau Unibanco launched a new crypto trading service on Monday. The service will initially allow customers to trade the two most popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), but the bank aims to add other options soon.
While speaking at an interview, the head of digital assets at Itau Unibanco, Guto Antunes, revealed that the bank’s overarching strategic plan was to expand to other crypto assets in the future, depending on how crypto regulation in the country would evolve.
With the launch, Itau Unibanco competes with various other crypto-native companies in Brazil, including crypto exchange MB, Binance, and bank BTG Pactual’s digital assets subsidiary Mynt.
Itau Unibanco’s foray into the domestic digital assets market comes a month after two companies ditched the market, including brokerage and investments company XP and financial services firm PicPay. While XP didn’t explain the abrupt shutdown, PicPay cited regulatory uncertainties.
Per the report, Itau Unibanco “stands out” from other domestic crypto players, as the bank also acts as a custodian to safeguard user assets.
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