Dutch banking giant ING Group, which is based in Amsterdam and has total assets of EUR 887 billion, is developing crypto custody services according to anonymous insiders. ING corroborated this report, telling Reuters that ING sees increasing opportunities in both the stablecoin and security token sectors, in addition to being focused on developing digital asset technology to give clients a compliant way for entering the crypto space.
This news from ING continues the trend of major financial institutions entering the crypto space. In October 2018 Fidelity launched a division which offers crypto custody and trading services to institutional investors, and received the New York Bitlicense a month ago. Japan-based bank Nomura Holdings launched Komainu in 2018, which offers crypto custody services for institutional investors. Also, Germany-based SolarisBank launched Solaris Digital Assets in 2018 to provide institutional crypto custody services.
Aside from banks, crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Gemini have launched crypto custody services targeted at institutional investors as well.
The point of crypto custody services is that they provide guaranteed safety via insurance, which is important for institutional investors since they are dealing with large amounts of crypto. Also, using a compliant crypto custody service guarantees that institutional investors are not breaking any tax or anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.
The hope is that institutional investors will be more likely to invest in crypto as these crypto custody services proliferate, since these services make investing into crypto more compliant and secure. Ultimately, the theory is that Bitcoin’s (BTC) price will rise long term as more institutional capital enters the space, and perhaps this has already begun.