Amsterdam-based banking multinational ING has started development of a technology for the custody of crypto assets, Reuters reported on 12 December.
Citing sources “familiar with the matter”, the report said that even though in its early stages, the initiative will help the bank provide safe crypto storage facilities to its customers. The project is purportedly one of several blockchain-related initiatives, with ING saying it “sees increasing opportunities with regard to digital assets on both asset backed and native security tokens”.
Even though ING did not provide many specifics around the custody project, it did say that it is being developed by a team based in Amsterdam. The company has also stated that it is taking interest in blockchain technology, the technology behind digital assets, as a way to provide its clients with a “compliant access to this emerging ecosystem”.
Some of the blockchain projects the company is currently working on include HQLAX, an R3 project which uses Corda distributed ledger technology to provide liquidity and collateral management products. The company is also part of R3’s Marco Polo consortium, where it is working on blockchain-based trade finance.
With cryptocurrencies gaining traction as an asset class, other companies are also developing their own custody technologies and services. For example Bakkt, the bitcoin derivatives subsidiary of the Intercontinental Exchange, opened its custody services to its entire client base last month, after receiving authorization from the N.Y. Department of Financial Services.
After a year-long preparation and accumulation of clients, the U.S. financial services giant Fidelity also opened its own cryptocurrency custody service in October. Yesterday, Berlin-based fintech company solarisBank established a new subsidiary, called solaris Digital Assets GmbH, which will provide custody solutions for digital assets.