Capital markets News

Credit Agricole’s CACEIS digital asset license needed for tokenized EIB bond


This week CACEIS received its digital asset custody license from French regulator Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), as first reported by Coindesk. CACEIS is the security services firm jointly owned by Credit Agricole and Santander with €4.6 trillion ($5 trillion) in assets under custody. It is the French subsidiary CACEIS Bank that received the license.

While the some news outlets hailed this as yet another institution diving into crypto, that’s not the only driver in this case. There’s no doubt that institutions have been increasingly interested in the crypto sector for some time. This week’s evidence is the Bitcoin ETF application by BlackRock and the launch of the EDX Markets crypto exchange by Citadel Securities, Schwab and Fidelity.

However, for CACEIS there was an event parallel to the crypto world that demanded a license. CACEIS was one of the custodians alongside SEB for a blockchain-based green bond issued by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The license award and the bond announcement both happened on Tuesday.

The bond was issued on the environmentally friendly bond platform so|bond which was launched by Credit Agricole and SEB using a public permissioned blockchain. Despite being permissioned, the blockchain setup is close to the crypto world as it has a token to incentivize node operators to operate sustainably.

We asked CACEIS about its motivations. “As an Asset Servicer, CACEIS must cover all asset classes accessible to its clients. Digital assets in the broad sense, and more particularly Securities Tokens, therefore fall naturally within the scope of our core business services, which are custody, fund administration and securities issuance,” a spokesperson responded via email. “PSAN registration is a sign of our will to comply with best practices and a guarantee of reliability and professionalism for our clients.”

In an announcement, CACEIS’ Chief Digital Officer Arnaud Misset, said “In practical terms, we will provide secure storage for our clients’ private digital keys leveraging state-of-the-art technology”.

CACEIS is also a backer of Taurus the Swiss startup that provides crypto custody technology as well as a digital securities tokenization platform. Credit Agricole and Deutsche Bank are both clients.