Largest Bank in Brazil Itau Unibanco Opens Cryptocurrency Trading to All Users

Largest Bank in Brazil Itau Unibanco Expands Cryptocurrency Trading Services to All Users

Itau Unibanco, the largest bank in Brazil and throughout Latin America, has announced that it is now offering cryptocurrency trading services to all of its customers. This feature, which was previously limited to select users, is now available to all users through the bank’s in-house investment platform, Ion.

The decision to expand cryptocurrency trading services comes as banks are recognizing the potential of offering digital asset opportunities alongside traditional financial services. Itau Unibanco, with its massive customer base of over 60 million and nearly 100,000 employees, aims to tap into this growing demand.

The availability of cryptocurrency trading was initially launched in December and slowly expanded to more users over time. Itau Unibanco first assessed the level of acceptance among its customers through its Ion platform, which is the bank’s investment app. The high level of acceptance demonstrated customer trust in Itau’s cryptocurrency custody solution.

To ensure the security and integrity of customer assets, Itau Unibanco developed its own custody solution, where each customer has a digital wallet with segregated assets. While the bank has a stake and partnership with Liqi, the entire custody solution was developed in-house with a focus on architecture and fiduciary duty.

At present, the platform only offers the trading of bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) to customers. However, the bank is considering the inclusion of new cryptocurrencies in the future. As a regulated banking entity, Itau Unibanco is also awaiting the issuance of regulations by the central bank of Brazil regarding the treatment of stablecoins for potential inclusion on its Ion platform. The bank emphasizes its alignment with the central bank and its commitment to growth within regulatory boundaries.

This expansion of cryptocurrency trading services follows Itau Unibanco’s launch of tokenization services in July of 2022. The establishment of the Digital Assets unit allows the bank to provide services to companies seeking to tokenize their assets and access the broader financial markets. Itau Unibanco aims to be at the forefront of digital asset innovation and meet the evolving needs of its customers in Brazil and beyond.