Société Générale Shopping for Crypto Custodian: Sources

The French bank is said to be looking closely at a pair of Swiss firms.

AccessTimeIconOct 18, 2021 at 6:43 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. UTC

Société Générale is looking to acquire a cryptocurrency custodian or at least take a strategic stake in one, according to three people familiar with the French bank’s plans.

The bank, known as SocGen, has also sent out a request for proposal (RFP) in search of firms that could provide safekeeping for cryptographic keys and provide trading services, the sources confirmed.

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  • SocGen may be playing catch up with such banks as BBVA, BNY Mellon, and Standard Chartered as banks look to crypto custody as a gateway into the booming, $2.5 trillion crypto sector.

    According to one of the sources, SocGen is eyeing two Swiss firms in particular: Metaco and Taurus. (Metaco provided crypto custody technology to BBVA and the Swiss affiliate of Russia’s Gazprombank.)

    Meanwhile, Taurus recently joined forces with Credit Suisse to create shares in a Swiss resort based on the Ethereum blockchain.

    SocGen, Metaco and Taurus all declined to comment.

    Curv ball

    Interest in digital asset custody deals has picked up, thanks in part to PayPal’s acquisition of multi-party computation (MPC) shop Curv, which was first reported by CoinDesk in March. The upshot of the acquisition was that Curv’s existing clients were given until the end of this year to find another provider.

    “When PayPal acquired Curv, the impact of that was that they not only acquired the firm but they took it off the market,” a key player in the crypto custody market told CoinDesk. “All those customers have had to scramble and look for alternatives.”

    SocGen, the sixth-largest bank in Europe, has crypto experience.

    Earlier this month the bank submitted a proposal on the governance forums of decentralized finance (DeFi) app MakerDAO to accept on-chain bond tokens as collateral for a DAI stablecoin loan.

    SocGen’s blockchain division, FORGE, also has a history of experimenting with public blockchains.

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    Ian Allison

    Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.