Wells Fargo, BofA, Citigroup bosses lukewarm on crypto in Senate hearing

A trio of top bank CEOs have thrown cold water on crypto and blockchain hype.

Chief execs of US banks Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America (BofA) recently shared lukewarm statements on crypto, the Financial Times reports.

Before the Senate banking committee hearing on Wednesday, all three CEOs said they remain cautious over crypto developments — despite considering several projects dabbling in blockchain and distributed ledger tech (DLT).

BofA holds more than 60 blockchain patents but still hasn’t “found a use case at scale,” its head Brian Moynihan wrote in his testimony, addressed to Senate banking chair Sherrod Brown.

In a pre-statement, Citigroup’s Jane Fraser said it’s the bank’s responsibility to “ensure we have clear governance and controls in place” before diving into crypto.

Wells Fargo boss Charles Scharf boldly announced an upcoming announcement for a DLT pilot. The announcement time is yet to be announced.

Wells Fargo, like other US banks, have paid more attention to crypto of late.

Scharf did share the project will use blockchain tech “to complete internal book transfers of cross-border payments within [Wells Fargo’s] global branch network.”

Yet even Scharf admitted crypto’s “status as a currency and mechanism of payment remains fluid” in testimony.

Senate banking chair wants crypto charters gone

Their remarks arrive days after Sherrod Brown urged the Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu to review national bank charters given to cryptocurrency firms and prevent any from being granted in the future.

The upcoming hearing titled “Annual Oversight of Wall Street Firms” will see CEO participation from JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs.

Senate banking chair Brown has long fought to regulate digital currencies.

[Read more: US Senator urges OCC to rescind bank charters of 3 crypto companies]

All three banks have run their own blockchain experiments in recent years.

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