Multinational payments firm Sia is partnering with cryptocurrency custodian Hex Trust to help its European banking clients hold digital assets.
“When you have one bitcoin, it’s not a big problem, but when you start adding 10, 20 or 100, you have a treasury and you have to decide where to store this,” said Daniele Savarè, SIA’s innovation and business solutions director. “We are discussing digital custody needs with banks in Europe.”
Following MicroStrategy’s purchase of $425 million in bitcoin, Square’s $50 million bitcoin investment and PayPal’s support of crypto buying and selling on its platform, SIA hopes to prepare its bank clients for a presumptive wave of increased interest in crypto investing, Savarè said.
The firm is also helping banks manage and safekeep security tokens and central bank digital currencies, he added.
SIA eyes BTC
Milan-based SIA is a multinational company that often serves as a gateway to European payments. In early October, Italy’s largest payments processor, Nexi, announced it would acquire SIA in a €4.6 billion ($5.4 billion) stock deal that will close in 2021. The company also provides the network infrastructure for a system running Italian interbank transfers on R3’s Corda.
Through SIA, Hex Trust plans to offer European banks the software to custody digital assets on behalf of their customers. Hex Trust will also act as a sub-custodian for banks that don’t want to directly offer the service, said Hex Trust CEO Alessio Quaglini.
Currently, Hex Trust works with three banks – Mason Privatbank Liechtenstein AG and two unnamed Asian banks. Quaglini said Hex Trust has 10 other banks that are exploring the custodian’s products.
In April of this year, Hex Trust also partnered with R3 to offer the consortium’s banking clients another option for issuing security tokens.
Going forward, SIA will be the primary distribution partner for Hex Trust to offer digital-asset services to banks in Europe, Quaglini said.