Today BNP Paribas Securities Services (BNP SS) confirmed its developing digital asset custody capabilities, but it’s partnering with both Fireblocks and METACO. BNP SS is the fifth largest global custodian, with assets under custody of €15.2 trillion at the end of 2021.
Last week the bank shared details about a tokenized bond it helped EDF issue on the public Ethereum blockchain, which is referred to as a live experiment. That issuance used Fireblocks technology, and BNPSS plans to leverage its technology for tokenization, hot wallets and connectivity infrastructure.
Fireblocks’ connectivity to all the different exchanges and liquidity providers is becoming quite pervasive. Our discussions with other players in the market (not BNPSS) indicate that institutions are aware of this and keen not to be overly dependent on Fireblocks.
This may be one of the drivers in also engaging METACO, whose technology will be used to store, issue and settle security tokens alongside traditional assets. Its technology will be integrated into BNPSS core custody solution and help it support multiple digital asset backends.
We’ve requested clarification on whether BNPSS plans to get involved in cryptocurrencies, given the reference to regulated digital assets. But in Europe, once MiCA comes into force, many cryptocurrencies will be regulated.
BNPSS plans to “build a multi-asset, multi-provider platform which, once the regulatory framework allows, will offer full connectivity across traditional and digital assets,” said Wayne Hughes, Head of Digital Assets at BNP Paribas Securities Services.
“Our objective is to offer our clients a single view of all these different types of assets for complete transparency, greater operational efficiency and risk management. Leveraging on the combined expertise of leading technical providers, will allow us to extend our custody offering to a wider scope of regulated digital assets as the market evolves.”
Meanwhile, METACO recently signed Citi and Societe Generale FORGE. And Fireblocks has inked deals with the SIX Digital Exchange and Standard Chartered’s Zodia Custody. Fireblocks has raised more than $1 billion in funding compared to $20 million for METACO.