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.
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.
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.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.