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Cryptocurrencies are equivalent to cash — not just an asset that can be used for speculation. At least that’s what Bank of America informed its customers on their credit card statement a few months ago.

Hence, the second-largest bank in the United States starts to consider cryptocurrency transactions as cash advances. That is, they are now seen by the financial institution in the same way, for example, that withdrawal transactions in ATMs made with credit card. And, like card withdrawals, they are subject to fees, which can reach 3%, as informed by Cryptonoticias.

While Bank of America’s decision is still an exception among U.S. banks, the financial sector is gradually opening up to this technology. For instance, JPMorgan has launched its own cryptocurrency. Besides, according to The Wall Street Journal, this year it began accepting brokers of this type of asset among its corporate clients. In the case of JPM Coin, it can be used in transactions between customers of the largest bank in the United States.

In Brazil, cryptocurrency trading enters the trade balance

In Brazil there are also divergences in this treatment. On the one hand, since last year, the Central Bank considers cryptocurrencies as asset. In an August 2019 document, the monetary authority said it adopted a recommendation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to “classify the purchase and sale of cryptoassets (specifically those for which there is no issuer) as produced non-financial assets”. Also according to the document, these transactions entered into the accounts of the country’s trade balance. This is not to say, however, that digital currencies have been recognised as a means of payment. Therefore, it is not yet possible to use them in everyday purchases.

On the other hand, in May of this year, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade) resumed an investigation that analyzes whether banks discriminated against cryptocurrency brokers. This happened because some companies in the area claim that they had their accounts in the institutions closed unilaterally and that their applications for reopening were rejected.

Despite all the setbacks, Bank of America Meryll Lynch has named bitcoin as the most profitable asset in the last ten years. According to CNN, the December 2019 report indicates that those who invested US$1 in cryptocurrency at the beginning of the decade saw their investment reach US$ 90 thousand last year. The asset has debunked more traditional options, such as stocks, bonds and commodities, and it is a strong signal of the importance of having this type of investment in your portfolio.