London-based HSBC, one of the largest banks in the world, is working with cryptocurrency custody technology firm Fireblocks, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Fireblocks specializes in cryptocurrency safekeeping technologies such as multi-party computation (MPC) and, even before this partnership, had experience working with big banks. Back in early 2021, Fireblocks became the custody technology provider of choice for BNY Mellon, and it also works with BNP Paribas.
HSBC didn’t respond to requests for comment by publication time. Fireblocks declined to comment.
The enthusiasm of big banks towards crypto has been dampened by regulatory uncertainty around digital assets. This is particularly thanks to the situation in the U.S., where regulators are fighting with crypto companies in court. This lack of clarity is arguably allowing financial institutions in places like Europe and Asia to win an advantage over their American peers.
HSBC, which holds about $3 trillion in assets, lets customers of its Hong Kong branch trade in bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) exchange-traded funds.
However, the bank remains somewhat cautious of crypto, at least publicly; back in July, HSBC-owned Hang Seng Bank, also in Hong Kong, said that while licensed crypto companies can open a bank account, they’ll only be able to get a “simple” one.
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