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Wall Street Stays on Crypto Sidelines as Tesla Boosts Bitcoin

Feb. 9, 2021, 7:22 PM

Tesla Inc.’s $1.5 billionBitcoin purchase this week sent the cryptocurrency soaring to a record, with many of its most vocal adherents feeling validated in their “to the moon” predictions. For the largest U.S. banks, prospects for the digital asset are decidedly more earthbound.

Top lenders still mostly shy away from crypto. While futures contracts based on Bitcoin and Ether, the second-largest digital currency, are available at major exchanges, none of the six biggest U.S. banks offer their customers access.

Their reticence should come as no surprise: Banks weren’t invited to the crypto party in the first place.

“A ...