ING Bank (INGA.AS) based in the Netherlands has also joined the new wave of banking services dedicated to the custody of digital assets.
According to reports, it seems that the banking giant is working on developing a technology by studying blockchain, so as to be able to offer its own custody service for tokens or digital assets in accordance with the needs of customers and thus staying in the emerging crypto sector.
Although with no projects to launch yet, ING joins the new reality of financial companies that increasingly recognise the fact that all traditional assets such as shares and bonds can be turned into tokens.
When considering that these basic tokens use blockchain technology, which can simplify and reduce costs in complex capital market processes, it seems that financial companies have no choice but to ride the wave of the crypto market.
The number of banks interested in crypto is growing
To date, an increasing number of banks have announced that they will be offering custody services for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum or will do so in the near future.
An example is the Japanese bank Nomura Holdings Inc (8604.T) which already in 2018 announced that it had set up a new company called Komainu to offer cryptocurrency custody for institutional investors.
In a less direct way, also VISA this summer had participated in the financing of the company Anchorage which raised funds precisely to deal with the realisation of a project dedicated to crypto custody.
Moreover, just yesterday, Solaris Bank, the fintech company licensed in Germany announced its new project Solaris Digital Assets dedicated to crypto custody, using a distributed cluster of hardware security modules connected to a digital accounting system.
In this regard, Angelo Ciavarella, head of global markets at Infox Capital, explained:
“I think they’ve waited too long. Banks have taken time because they are obviously slow compared to startups and how the fintech sector evolves, but they are adjusting because they are losing businesses and customers”.
The ING project in the testing phase
The ING project seems still in the process of being tested and the report only states that: “[ING] sees increasing opportunities with regard to digital assets on both asset backed and native security tokens”.
The banks’ interest in the crypto and blockchain sector is more than evident, perhaps also due to the latest movements dictated by the central banks in wanting to issue their own digital currencies or by the Libra project of Facebook, which in some way has shaken the entire planet.
Precisely in this sense, about two months ago, the main economist of ING, Mark Cliffe, commented on the possibility that the Central Bank Digital Currency – CBDC will be a reality in the next two or three years, and that banks could get rid of physical currencies.