Itau finally launches trading for Bitcoin and Ethereum

Brazil’s largest private bank announced last week the launch of Bitcoin and Ethereum trading for users of its investment platform. Itau has no intention of stopping there: other digital assets will soon be integrated, the banking institution promises.

Itau dives into the crypto ecosystem

Brazil’s largest private bank takes another step into the world of cryptocurrencies. According to our colleagues at Reuters, Brazilian bank Itau Unibanco has launched a cryptocurrency trading service for customers of its investment platform.

At present, only two cryptocurrencies are supported by Itau Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). However, Itau Unibanco has no intention of stopping there. The Brazilian banking giant plans to integrate other cryptocurrencies in the future, depending in particular on the regulatory climate in the country.

It’s starting with bitcoin, but our overall strategic plan is to expand into other crypto assets in the future.

Guto Antunes, head of digital assets at Itau Unibanco.

In the aftermath of FTX last year, Ibau had expressed an interest in the crypto ecosystem. In particular, the Brazilian banking institution had promised the launch of the cryptocurrency custody service for 2023. It’s now a done deal!

Itau ready to face competition from crypto exchanges

The bank Itau will face competition from crypto exchanges offering the same Bitcoin trading service. Itau is fully aware of this and presents a major caution, according to the head of digital assets at Itau Unibanco. Unlike its competitors, Itau also acts as custodian, says Guto Antunes. This makes it possible to protect users’ assets in an ecosystem where exchanges are not immune to bankruptcy and freezing of funds.

The launch of Bitcoin and Ethereum trading by Itau Unibanco reveals the growing interest of institutional investors in crypto. And this wave seems to be just beginning. Indeed, several major companies such as asset manager BlackRock (among others), have submitted applications for Bitcoin ETFs. If approved by the US authorities, the ETFs should bring significant liquidity to the crypto ecosystem and no doubt a rise in asset prices. The days ahead are sure to be eventful on the crypto market.