Netherlands-based ING Bank has spun off Pyctor, its cryptocurrency custody and post-trade infrastructure platform, to GMEX Group, a trading infrastructure firm that specializes in digital assets.
GMEX CEO Hirander Misra was appointed chairman of Pyctor, which will continue to work with ING, according to a press release. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Pyctor was incubated in ING Neo’s Amsterdam innovation lab. It combines hardware-based security favored by banks with software-based "sharding" of keys used to move digital assets, a process that's known as "multi-party computation."
Misra said the move was comparable with JPMorgan Chase spinning off Quorum, a private blockchain that was split from the Ethereum blockchain, to ConsenSys, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based crypto firm.
For its part, GMEX formed a partnership with Amazon Web Services last December to help provide cloud-based trading.
“It made sense for ING to spin Pyctor out and then it becomes much more neutral,” Misra said in an interview. “We’ve got a strong go to market with the likes of AWS and others, and the bank can capitalize on that. These networks are all about wider adoption, so getting beyond a single player or a small set of players.”
Hervé Francois, the digital assets lead at ING Bank, who was also CEO of Pyctor for four years, told CoinDesk that he is leaving ING.
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.