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BNP Paribas Securities trials digital asset transfer on public blockchain

stock exchange digital assets tokens

Yesterday BNP Paribas Securities Services (BNP) disclosed that it partnered with wallet provider Curv on a proof of concept (PoC) to transfer security tokens on the public Ethereum blockchain. As a custodian, BNP is exploring evolving custody solutions and preparing the stage for regulated digital assets.

“We are now well positioned to deliver an exciting new service to our clients once regulations on digital assets are in place,” said Bruno Campenon, of BNP. The company confirmed to Ledger Insights that it will not progress the PoC until regulated security tokens are available.

Israeli founded Curv describes itself as “cloud-based digital asset security infrastructure”, which targets institutions. Three months ago, it raised $23 million in its Series A funding. Many of its backers are well known names in the cryptocurrency space such as Coinbase Ventures and Digital Currency Group. But the presence of CommerzVentures, part of Commerzbank, was a hint of its desire to work with incumbents. 

The startup has an alternative approach to security. Typically the keys to enable token transfers represent a potential security vulnerability. If someone steals your keys they can take control of your assets. Curv uses secure multiparty computation (MPC), which essentially means the key does not exist in a single place. It’s fragmented, with Curv holding a share. As the company previously described it, “for a cyber attacker to be successful, they would need to obtain both Curv’s shares and our customer’s at the same moment in time.”

BNP is progressing on other fronts with regulated exchanges. Three weeks ago it announced it is developing digital asset solutions to work on distributed ledger platforms being developed by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and Hong Kong Exchange (HKEX). It’s working with Digital Asset, a partner of both ASX and HKEX, to use its DAML smart contract language.