State Street, the second oldest U.S. bank at 226 years old and the world’s largest custodian with management of over $33 trillion, acknowledges that their clients are very interested in the cryptocurrency markets.
On November 29, 2018 during the American Banker “Block|FS“ conference in New York City, Jay Biancamano, the managing director for digital products design and innovation of digital assets spoke on a panel called “Crypto Custody: The Key to Unlocking Institutional Capital.”
During the panel, Biancamano stated that State Street speaks with their clients regularly and acknowledges their interests.
He then mentioned that among State Street clients there is “a very high level of interest” in cryptoassets. While State Street listens to their clients to appease their interests, Biancamano said among their clients, there is no sense of urgency to move into these assets right now.
Therefore, the banking giant will not build a crypto custody solution or acquire a firm who has already built such a solution.
However, Biancamano said they are a blockchain-friendly firm and are looking at crypto custody very closely:
We follow our clients’ assets. We do talk to our clients who are interested in doing this and we are looking at this very closely. But we are not putting a sign that we are opening for business. That said, we are a blockchain-friendly firm; we are very involved in the vertical.
Though State Street is in no rush to provide crypto custody services, the firm is showing interest in cryptocurrencies.
Biancamano shared that they are interested in more than just cryptocurrencies:
It’s not just about the current cryptocurrency; it’s also about tokenization and digitalization of traditional assets too.
More Signs of Interest Towards Cryptoassets & Blockchain
In addition to Biancamano’s comments on crypto custody, managing director of digital products, Ralph Achkar at State Street’s London firm, had his comments regarding crypto custody reported by Financial News London.
Achkar mentioned that the current crypto market infrastructure lacks appropriate trading and post-trading arrangements and though large investors are interested in cryptoassets, this poses a problem.
He then carried on to say:
We are actively looking at servicing digital assets, like coins and their derived assets, based on the demand we are seeing from our institutional investors. As the asset base of our clients expands, we follow suit.
More mentions of State Street’s interest in crypto custody comes from Moiz Kohari, State Street’s Global Chief Technology Architect.
Back in March 2018, Kohari was interviewed by SiliconRepublic where he talked about his own and State Street’s massive interest in blockchain technologies:
I am spending a significant amount of my own time and my team’s effort in creating and managing blockchain technologies. So, to that effect, we analyzed almost every single blockchain technology out there over the course of the last four to five years, and we were very early in engaging in this space.
Kohari also explained that he and his team are creating their core back-end capabilities using blockchain technology and they will bring evolutionary services to market within 2 years.
To conclude his interview, Kohari emphasized that State Street is making a very significant investment into this space and that their involvement differs completely from the current cryptocurrency market. Kohari said:
What we are doing is creating and operating on top of a known network of participants.
Would you work with a major bank like State Street if they offered cryptocurrency services?