Swiss Investment bank Vontobel has launched a digital asset custody service targeting wealth managers, banks and asset managers.
Known as Digital Asset Vault, Vontobel claims that the solution makes it the first bank in the world to offer the typical industry standards of quality within a regulated environment for custody of digital assets.
The launch means that by connecting to Vontobel, financial institutions can offer clients an end-to-end, integrated solution by issuing instructions for the purchase, custody and transfer of digital assets securely, similar to traditional asset classes.
“Digital Asset Vault represents the logical next step in the development of our range of services for digital assets,” said Roger Studer, head of Vontobel investment banking. “With our innovative strength and experience, we have thus closed the gap between existing and digital assets. “By incorporating digital assets into our own banking infrastructure, we have also become the first provider to already meet the high standards required by financial intermediaries and their regulators.”
Currently, the safekeeping of cryptocurrencies take two forms, self-custody and independent custody. The former involves hot and cold storage wallets – whereby the assets are stored online and offline, respectively – while the latter could be provided by a coin exchange or a traditional custodian.
Custody is considered a crucial element for the wider and institutional adoption of digital assets and cryptocurrencies, with major companies already moving into the space. Cryptocurrency trading platforms such as Coinbase, BitGo and itBit offer custody services, but institutional investors are looking to more traditional providers.
Fidelity Investments confirmed late last year that it will launch a new company for the custody and trading of digital assets aimed at institutional investors. Standard Chartered also announced plans to launch a digital asset custody service, citing demand from institutional investors for trusted providers to enter the space.