Swiss Custody Firm METACO Primed to Offer DeFi to Banks

A first wave of private banks is looking for exposure to DeFi and staking, but with an easy user interface.

AccessTimeIconApr 13, 2021 at 1:10 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:39 p.m. UTC

A Switzerland-based cryptocurrency custody company is expanding its offering so that clients can get exposure to more esoteric areas of public blockchain such as decentralized finance (DeFi) and proof-of-stake (PoS) mining.

Announced Tuesday, METACO Harmonize brings together the company’s institution-grade vault solution with trading, asset flow and tokenization tech, allowing for peer-to-peer trading and access to the DeFi industry – a set of smart contracts providing bank-like services on the internet.

METACO is located in the middle of Switzerland’s burgeoning digital asset movement. Its clients include several large banks such as Standard Chartered Bank, BBVA and Gazprom Bank’s Swiss division

Adrien Treccani, CEO and founder of METACO, said the first wave of demand for exposure to DeFi, staking and the like is coming from Swiss private banks that serve high-net-worth consumers, as opposed to large banks serving institutional clients.

“DeFi is not about technical capability, but about user experience,” said Treccani in an interview, adding:

“It's about simplifying these complex smart-contract interactions into something a bank (and ultimately the end-client of the bank) is able to use on a daily basis – generate yields, or lend or borrow – but without having to understand the inner details of the multiple smart-contract method calls that are involved.”

METACO hiring push

In addition to its product launch, METACO has also announced two senior hires: Andre Israel, formerly a banking expert at Accenture, joins as chief operating officer while former Standard Chartered Bank exec Craig Perrin is now vice president of sales.

Recently, METACO made a joint announcement with IBM, foretelling the U.S. software giant’s ambitions beyond enterprise blockchain, looking at cryptocurrency through the lens of custody infrastructure. Treccani made clear that IBM’s ambitions include the full gamut of public decentralized protocols going forward. 

“IBM has great ambitions with public ledgers and not just permissioned ledgers, as an infrastructure provider,” Treccani said. “In a broad sense, custody, staking, DeFi are all of direct interest to IBM. Even though we presented these joint announcements as a way to promote their fantastic hardware in the context of digital asset management, we have joint ambitions which go beyond hardware.”

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