Bank CEOs address blockchain in earnings calls

Yahoo Finance’s Alexandra Semenova joins the live show to discuss how bank CEOs are responding to the growing demand for blockchain.

Video transcript

Very well. You may have missed something in the latest big bank earnings harvest. This is a major breakthrough in blockchain. Alexandra Semenova of Yahoo Finance has more on this. Alexandra, explain to us.

ALEXANDRA SEMENOVA: Well guys, first of all, it’s so good to be back in the studio…

Happy to see you.

ALEXANDRA SEMENOVA: –with you guys, just in time for earnings season. And speaking of earnings, we just saw the plateauing of reports from the big banks for the first quarter. Some of the big themes were discussions of inflation and how that weighs on the economic outlook. They also talked about the war in Ukraine and the one that weighs on bargaining activities.

So in the middle of all of this, something that got lost is that a lot of these big names on Wall Street have moved away from blockchain technology in their earnings, which is very unusual for these big financial institutions that , not too long ago, would shudder at the thought of crypto or blockchain. BlackRock CEOs. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have all mentioned expanding their plans around digital assets. Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon therefore mentioned on a call last week that they expect crypto and blockchain to cause significant disruption to the way money moves around the world, which is a big and bold statement about Goldman’s crypto.

BlackRock’s Larry Fink, who once called Bitcoin a money laundering scheme, also changes his tune. He said that “BlackRock studies digital assets and their associated ecosystem, including crypto assets.” And Jamie Dimon on JP Morgan’s earnings call briefly said the bank was building blockchain-type things without going into more detail about it. But it will be interesting to see what they do. We’ll hear more details at their Investor Day next month.

Do we somehow know why…as you said, for a long time the banks had a different tone on this. Do we know what changed for them to create this sudden interest in them in the blockchain?

ALEXANDRA SEMENOVA: Well, it’s still very early days for institutional investors. But one thing they kept bringing up was customer demand. So it’s sort of forcing their hand on that, and they have no choice but to foray into digital assets and capitalize on some of these opportunities that are out there. It is therefore interesting to see what they will do in the months and years to come with the blockchain.

Alexandra Semenova, nice to see you. It’s good to see you in person.

ALEXANDRA SEMENOVA: Glad to see you too.

Or as we say in real life, IRL. Yeah, same.