State Street Bank Launches Dedicated Cryptocurrency Division

State Street Bank Launches Dedicated Cryptocurrency Division

State Street, the U.S. custody bank that oversees about $40 trillion in assets, has launched a dedicated cryptocurrency division.

The new unit, State Street Digital, will be led by executive vice president Nadine Chakar, who will report to Lou Maiuri, chief operating officer of State Street Corporation, the bank said in a press statement.

With a remit that includes crypto, central bank digital currency, blockchain and tokenization, State Street said it will upgrade its existing GlobalLink platform into a multi-asset digital trading venue. The objective is to support certain peer-to-peer ambitions, said the bank, by creating new liquidity venues for clients and investors worldwide.

Back in April, CoinDesk reported that State Street was working on a new bank-grade trading platform for digital assets set to go live mid-year, via a partnership between the bank’s Currenex trading technology and London-based Pure Digital, infrastructure provider to the FX trading world.

However, State Street representatives at the time played down any possibilities the bank might be using the platform to trade crypto itself.

That seems to have changed.

“Digital assets are quickly becoming integrated into the existing framework of financial services, and it is critical we have the tools in place to provide our clients with solutions for both their traditional investment needs as well as their increased digital needs,” State Street CEO Ron O’Hanley said in a statement.

State Street has been edging closer to crypto of late. In April of this year, the bank was appointed as the administrator of a planned bitcoin-backed exchange-traded note (ETN) initiated by Iconic Funds BTC ETN GmbH, a subsidiary of Iconic Funds GmbH.

Just prior to that, State Street was appointed as the fund administrator and transfer agent of the VanEck Bitcoin Trust, currently pending approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A source in the crypto custody arena said State Street is playing catch-up.

“When BNY Mellon entered the crypto custody space, that pretty much forced State Street to get involved,” said the source.

BNY Mellon’s custody play was announced in February and is expected to go live by the end of this year.

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