Blockchain technology has become a highly coveted innovation that many banks and other financial institutions have expressed interest in using, both for cryptocurrency and other purposes. However, many of these projects seem to get stuck where they are, could ING’s new initiative take a different path for institutional investors?
- Many blockchain technology initiatives by financial institutions are still stuck in the testing phase.
- ING presently has multiple initiatives that employ the use of blockchain technology.
ING, a Dutch bank, is presently seeking to get involved in cryptocurrency with a new custody solution of their own. According to reports from Reuters, sources familiar with the matter have stated that the new technology will make it possible for clients to store digital assets with the bank. Though the Amsterdam-based project is still in its early days, it is just one of many initiatives that are surrounding blockchain.
In a written statement to Reuters, ING stated that it “sees increasing opportunities with regard to digital assets on both asset backed and native security tokens.” Presently, the bank is looking to provide their clients with a way to get involved in the crypto sector while remaining compliant, leading them to work on their own option for the developing technology.
As many traditional financial companies seek to provide custodial and other solutions for cryptocurrencies, some firms are hoping to create digital assets from bonds, stocks, and other assets with blockchain technology. If these plans come to fruition, it is possible that the costs of some capital market processes could be streamlined and cut down. However, others are taking a more direct route to the industry, offering custody of Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptocurrencies directly.
The limits on custody solutions and related services by well-known financial companies have been a major conflict with the entry of institutional investors in this asset class. Investment manager Fidelity launched a new division in October 2018 that is focused on offering institutional investors the trading and custodial solutions they need for cryptocurrency.
It received approval by regulators in New York to offer their services in the state as recently as last month. Nomura Holdings Inc., a Japanese bank, announced the same year that they had created a crypto custody solution for institutional investments called Komainu.
Even though blockchain technology has seemingly been trialed by many banks and other institutions, a recent Reuters review showed that the progress seems to be stalled. Out of over 33 projects with big companies through the last four years, most of the projects have moved no further than this beginning phase.