Blocknox, Boerse Stuttgart Subsidiary, Expands Crypto Custody To Institutional Investors

Boerse Stuttgart subsidiary Blocknox has expanded its crypto custody services to institutional investors, says an announcement made on Tuesday.

Blocknox is already known for offering crypto custody assets services on the escrow basis, but now it has made the same service available to Boerse Stuttgart BISON app’s users and the BSDEX digital assets exchange. The company’s plan is to expand its services even more, behind its own offerings, by safeguarding cryptocurrencies and other types of digital assets for institutional investors, asset managers and banks included.

Blocknox Has Been a Custodian in Germany for Over 1 Year

Talking about Blocknox and its plans, this is what the company’s managing director and Boerse’s chief digital officer, Dr. Ulli Spankowski, had to say:

“As a pioneer in Germany, Blocknox has already been operating as a custodian of cryptocurrencies for more than one year. Now we want institutional clients to benefit from our experience and set-up as well. They can use Blocknox’s reliable custody as a building block for their own services around digital assets.”

Besides, the firm said it already created and deployed a multilevel type of security concept for protecting the assets under its custody.

Blocknox Applying for a Custodian License

Germany has introduced in January new rules for the crypto services providers in the country. Blocknox mentioned it already applied for a license so that it can offer custody services provisionally. Furthermore, it wants to submit a final application before the deadline for becoming a regulated provider of financial services passes.

Spankowski thinks that functioning according to the new rules makes everything more professional in the crypto industry, which can encourage many other institutions to enter the same market. He may be right, as perhaps institutions that haven’t decided to function in the crypto space until now didn’t do it because the regulations were unclear.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Coinbase Custody Becomes First Custodian With SOC 1 and SOC 2 Security Evaluations

The crypto custody subsidiary of major US-based crypto exchange Coinbase has managed to obtain 2 new security evaluations.

As per a press release from February 12, Coinbase Custody got a SOC 1 Type 2 and a SOC 2 Type 2 report from Grant Thornton, a major US-based accounting firm. This means Coinbase Custody is now able to prove that it complies with many of the security and reporting regulatory standards.

What Information Do SOC Reports Provide?

The Grant Thornton official website says that SOC reports provide information on how strong and present the financial, information and operational controls are in an organization. SOC 1 gives information related to the financial reporting of any organization and are intended for auditor-auditor communications.

On the other hand, SOC 2 gives more information about availability, security, privacy, processing integrity and confidentiality. The Type 1 SOC 2 and SOC 2 reports describe the controls’ design, whereas Type 2 reports cover the effectiveness of controls for a testing time period of 6 months.

Coinbase Custody Will Renew Reports

Coinbase Custody has stated that it’s going to renew its reports. The news about the evaluations arrives soon after in January, Coinbase has a established an Ireland identity in order to make its cryptocurrency services available to European institutions. There are other crypto services providers that went to obtain SOC certificates. For example, at the end of January, US-based crypto custodian and exchange Gemini was granted the SOC 2 Type 2 evaluation by Deloitte.

What Does Cryptocurrency Custody Mean?

The greatest advantage of crypto assets is that they can be under independent custody. Institutional investors and financial markets need a higher level of security standards in order to achieve self-custody. Rohan Barde Hai, a researcher for Blockchain Zoo, explained in September last year how important custody solutions are for institutional investors. The more the crypto market is maturing, the more traditional institutions decide to join it.

For instance, after the new Anti-Money Laundering laws have been instated, 40 banks in Germany asked regulators to approve their digital asset custody services, which means the adoption of crypto is on the rise.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Gemini Custody Adds Chainlink (LINK), Up 666% In Last Year, And GNT, NMR, OXT, STORJ

The Gemini crypto exchange’s custody products now support Golem (GNT), Chainlink (LINK), Numeraire (NMR), Orchid (OXT) and Storj (STORJ).

The Winklevoss twins’ company entered the crypto custody market in September last year, by offering its clients an institutionally oriented solution. In the beginning, it supported 18 cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and others more exotic including Bread (BRD) and Enjin (ENJ). By introducing the 5 new already mentioned coins, it shows that it keeps its promises when it comes to the expansion of its offerings.

Gemini Custody Allows Clients to Instantly Trade Assets

Gemini Custody is a platform that allows clients to instantly trade assets by offering them credits. Customers can have white lists set up, this way making sure their crypto holdings are withdrawn to some specific addresses and auditors are given access for confirming activity and balance. Sub-accounts can also be set up, with the levels of permission as they’re needed.

Biggest Insurance and Crypto Needs Rules Campaign

On January 16, Gemini extended the insurance coverage for its custody product to $200 million, which is the highest insurance for a crypto custodian ever. It also caused a lot of controversy with its Crypto Needs Rules Campaign, but it wants to keep their high standards as far as regulations go. At the same time, it only recently became the first crypto exchange to have a SOC 2 Type 2 certification.

Newly Added Tokens’ Prices Don’t Promise Too Much

At press time, the newly added token’s prices and market caps are as follows:

GNT at the price of $0.05 and a market cap value of $51,754,094, NMR with a price of $5.75 and $22,730,224 market cap, LINK for $3.39 and a market cap of $1,230,876,314, OXT at the price of 0.29 no market cap and STORJ at the $0,15 price and a market cap of $21,525,528.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Vo1t Partners With IBM’s Hyper Protect Crypto Service To Offer Private Key Custody

Vo1t, the famous cold storage custody provider, and IBM have closed a partnership to offer Vo1t clients secure data centers for holding and encrypting their private keys.

This new option is included in the IBM’s Hyper Project. It makes sure clients’ keys are kept safe regardless of what’s happening with the Vo1t data centers. Customers can install the data center on-premise or access it remotely from a computer used by another client. The data is kept encrypted in the enclave, no matter if it’s transited or in memory. This is what Vo1t’s general manager Sebastian Higgs had to say about the new option:

“Having this means our clients get to sign with their key in a separate transaction with IBM.”

Vo1t Has Been Offering Cold Storage Services Ever Since 2017

Vo1t is a London-based company with a name that reminds people of a bank vault. It provides, lending, trading, staking and custody products for not less, nor more than 35 digital assets. Ever since 2017, firms that are listed on the Financial Times Stock Exchange have been offered cold storage with Vo1t. The firm has also been offering the same services to financial institutions and trust companies from all over the world. It seems that withdrawals for assets in cold storage with Vo1t last only 45 minutes.

Banks and Large Firms More Interested in Offering Crypto Custody Services

Custody has only been offered by crypto exchanges and wallet providers for a while. However, large firms and banks are becoming more and more interested in offering this type of service to institutional investors that want to invest in cryptocurrency. This is what IBM Z as-a-Service director Rohit Badlaney had to say about IBM’s involvement in the digital custody space:

“We’ve been looking at the digital custody space and how we could make our servers and our cloud platform be a killer value proposition for this specific market.”

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Author: Oana Ularu

Northern Trust To Test Fractionalize Bonds On Hyperledger Sawtooth In Partnership With BondEvalue

Northern Trust, a custody bank, has begun to test the trade of fractionalized bonds using blockchain technology. The banking institution is working together with BondEvalue, a debt market firm based in Singapore.

BondEvalue is set to provide asset services for the bank, which will tokenize high-grade bonds for retail investors using the Hyperledger Sawtooth technology. Normally, this type of investment is too large for retail investors, but by tokenizing the assets, someone can buy them without having large amounts of cash.

This shows the interest the bank has in the new technology. After the institution sold its first equities using the blockchain. Northern Trust has definitely shown some interest in the area. With $124 billion of assets under its custody, the bank is currently the 24th largest one in the U.S., so its efforts to use the blockchain are very relevant to the industry.

Justin Chapman, the global head of market and innovation at the bank, has affirmed that Northern Trust has created a solution that can be used in multiple jurisdictions and that the focus of the bank right now is to improve the blockchain-based services to offer the best investments for the clients.

Initially, the service will be offered in Singapore using the local sandbox initiative. If the pilot manages to be successful, the bank will continue the project together with BondEvalue and try to take it to global markets.

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Author: James W

Coinbase Custody Now Supports Maker (MKR) and MakerDAO’s Governance

Coinbase Custody keeps adding new options for its clients. Around six months after letting the clients use a crypto staking service for the assets that were being held by the company, Coinbase Custody has recently announced staking support for MKR tokens as well.

MRK the native token of the MakerDAO network, famous for its DAI stablecoin. Now, the clients of the company will be able to participate in the governance of the system directly by using the custodial solution.

Before now, if they stored their assets in custody, they would obviously not be able to vote on the decisions of the network, which basically defeats the whole idea of custody, so knowing that this could turn into a problem, Coinbase Custody decided to add this new options so that no funds would need to be withdrawn to participate in the voting system of the network.

This, the custody company affirmed, would help in the protection of the clients, as they could participate without suffering any risk of theft.

Before now, the only asset that could be staked on Coinbase Custody was XTZ (Tezos). The staking, however, was not a really big source of income for the clients. In the two first months of the operation, around $8,000 USD was gained from staking, which was about only 0.5% of the total staking in the ecosystem.

The next governance decision in the network is set for November 15. Then, it will be decided whether the network will adopt a new multi-collateral DAI system or not. The decision is expected to pass.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Fidelity-Backed KNØX Launches Today With Full Insurance

KNØX, a crypto custody provider backed by Fidelity Investments, has been launched today. The company affirms that it can provide up to 100% insurance for its clients using a solution provided by Marsh. The co-founder of the company, Alex Daskalov, affirmed that the company can provide complete insurance to the assets of its customers, as reported by The Block Crypto.

The company, which is based in Canada, received over $6.2 million USD in investments recently from companies such as Fidelity Investments Canada, FJ Labs, iNovia, Ferst Capital and others. The seed round happened in June 2018 and the company has operated “silently” for around a year after that.

Now, the company has opened up its services for other people and asset managers, exchanges and liquidity providers can sign up on the platform to receive custody for their digital assets.

Marsh provides up to 100% insurance coverage of the assets, something that is pretty rare in the crypto industry. This is why, according to Daskalov, the company provides good custodial services that can take care of the assets and ensure their safety.

The CEO affirmed that full insurance is needed because partial insurance gives people the false impression that they are protected when they are not. For instance, if a company has insurance for $100 million USD and it has a total of $1 billion USD in assets, a customer with $100 million USD there is not 100% protected.

In fact, the customer is only 10% protected in case the company loses all of its money. This gives people a false sense of security, something that can backfire. KNØX wants to act differently and to really be able to really protect its customers.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Turkey’s Takasbank Will Launch Blockchain Platform Focused on Physical Gold Trading

The Instanbul Clearing, Settlement and Custody Bank (Takasbank), which is based in Turkey, has recently announced the launch of a new blockchain platform that would be used to trade physical gold.

According to the bank, the new platform is going to be called BiGA (which means one gram of gold) and it will enable the clients of the company to trade physical gold using the digital platform. All the gold will be secured at the Borsa Istanbul Stock Exchange (BIST).

Each gram of gold will be digitally represented as a “unit”. Each unit will be alike to a stablecoin and have its value tied to the official value of gold.

This new project was originally started last year, but it took some time before it was complete. According to Takasbank, the focus will be on confidential transactions and a way to securely store and trade gold. The platform will be compliant with local laws and the authorities and regulators will receive information about the trades.

Each user will store the units on a wallet that will work just like a cryptocurrency wallet. While the option of using the units for e-commerce will not be available at the start, the company has already revealed that there is interest in taking this idea forward.

Takasbank was created back in 1988 and the main clearing and settlement institution of the country. It is using the blockchain technology since last year and creating interesting products with it.

Several companies will be partners in the initiative. Ziraat Bankasi, the second-largest bank in the country, is one of them. Other financial institutions are Garanti BBVA, Vakif Bank, Kuveyt Turk, and Albaraka Turk.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Legacy Trust Puts Together a New Crypto Asset Pension Plan Service

Legacy Trust, a crypto custody provider, has recently decided to launch a new product, a digital pension plan based on cryptocurrencies. The company, which is based in Hong Kong, announced its plans and also opened the way for its employees to participate in the program.

According to the CEO of the company, Vincent Chok, the new product is expected to appeal mainly to people who are already investing in crypto. He affirmed that the company is trying to offer something to the people who are active in the space and that can be used as a tool for them.

One of the goals is to offer it to businesses that want to drive employee loyalty up, by letting them participate in the growth of the company as well. The payments to the pension plan can be done directly from taking a cut of the salaries or by voluntary contributions. The money can then be withdrawn when the person retires or dies.

According to Legacy Trust, the plan will address most of the concerns that could surface from using blockchain technology and cryptos as an investment. However, it was still unclear by the time of this report what exactly would be measured for that.

In related news, the company has recently started a partnership with the famous crypto wallet Ledger in order to offer more security for its clients. Now, the company is set to use the Ledger Vault product to secure the assets of the clients more efficiently.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Renowned Crypto Custodian BitGo Now Supports EOS Multi-Signature Custody Wallet Services

Cryptocurrency custodian and wallet provider BitGo has announced the launch of multi-signature wallet and custody services for EOS, the eighth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

BitGo offers security, custody, and liquidity services that are built on multi-signature security. The company said that it now supports over 200 coins and tokens, allowing institutional clients to hold a wide range of assets.

EOS is the native token of the EOSIO network, published by Block.one which raised a staggering $4 billion via an initial coin offering (ICO) of EOS tokens as per a report by Business Insider.

EOSIO is a blockchain platform built for both public and private use cases. The open-source blockchain protocol has become quite popular with decentralized app (dApp) developers owing to the low cost of transactions and quick transaction times and has hundreds of dApps in active use on several EOSIO-based blockchains. BitGo’s chief technology officer Ben Chan said:

“The EOSIO software has some innovative differentiators like its high transaction capacity and fee model that required our engineering team to scale our platform. We were able to successfully create an experience for EOS users that is seamless and consistent with how we support other coins and tokens.”

Chan stated that his firm’s culture and approach has always been to build infrastructure and platforms to help drive the global economy and his firm was excited to extend this infrastructure to support EOS for the firm’s clients.

As per the press release, EOS custody is available through either BitGo, Inc. or BitGo Trust Company, a qualified custodian purpose-built for digital assets.

Earlier in June, Block.one announced a new blockchain-based social media platform which will reward and return control to social media users. Called “Voice,” the platform will be launched on the EOS Public Blockchain.

Cointelegraph reports that BitGo recently hired Pete Najarian as the company’s Chief Revenue Officer. Najarian joined BitGo from its rival Xapo, where he served as Senior Vice President of Institutions. BitGo was Founded in 2014 in San Francisco and looks forward to adding more budding cryptocurrencies in the future according to the company’s head.

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Author: Joseph Kibe