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Banking giant ING said to be entering into crypto custody space

Yogita Khatri

ING, the largest bank in the Netherlands with over $980 billion in total assets, is said to be getting into a crowded cryptocurrency custody market. 

A Reuters report on Thursday, citing “people familiar with the matter” said that ING is working on developing technology to help clients safely store cryptocurrencies.

The custody project is being run out of Amsterdam and is still in its early days, per the report. ING told Reuters that it “sees increasing opportunities with regard to digital assets on both asset backed and native security tokens.”

Interestingly, ING recently said that “cash is still king,” and that for cryptocurrencies to catch on, it will need to be proven "useful, relevant and trustworthy." It also said that "technical improvements are needed" for cryptocurrencies to become mainstream. 

More traditional financial firms are getting into cryptocurrency space. Last year, Fidelity launched a separate unit, Fidelity Digital Assets, to provide cryptocurrency custody and trading services to institutional investors. This November it received approval from the New York Department of Financial Services to provide services to clients based in the state.

Japanese bank Nomura has also been preparing to launch a custody solution for digital assets in partnership with Ledger. Their solution is expected to launch next year.  Germany also recently passed a law, effective Jan. 1, 2020, which would allow authorized companies to offer crypto services, including custody.