BitGo Is Building Its Own Digital Asset Custodian

Blockchain security startup BitGo has decided to build its own asset custodian, and will no longer proceed with its acquisition of Kingdom Trust.

May 25, 2018 at 4:45 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:59 a.m. UTC

Four months after announcing it would acquire the asset custodian Kingdom Trust, blockchain security firm BitGo has decided instead it would just build its own.

The startup said Thursday that it was "seeking a charter to build BitGo Trust," a "new, regulated, qualified custodian" that will be built specifically for digital assets, according to a Medium post. At the same time, it announced it would no longer proceed with acquiring Kingdom Trust, after approval of the acquisition spent four months in regulatory limbo.

This limbo, however, is not what inspired BitGo to build its own trust, marketing vice president Clarissa Horowitz told CoinDesk. Rather, the startup came to the decision after looking at its clients' needs, she said, adding:

"We spent a lot of time over the course of this working with customers because ultimately that's who we're going to be serving and we realized they would be best served by a custodian who was entirely focused on their assets, so our focus has been to create a fully qualified independent digital custodian."

While BitGo does not yet know what sort of timeline it is looking at, Horowitz did say that the company is "working very closely with regulators." In the meantime, it already offers customers two options for asset management. The first option revolves around BitGo's recently-announced suite of custodial services, where the company now offers several degrees of custodial services.

Alternatively, clients can manage their own assets, she said.

On the importance of building a digital asset custodian specifically aimed at the cryptocurrency space, Horowitz said "I think it's critical, I think the way that you hold digital assets [is different from how you're] holding stock certificates."

She referred to comments made by BitGo chief executive Mike Belshe, who said in a previous post that "custodians make institutional investing possible by providing a level of checks and balances to keep money safe."

Bank vault door image via Shutterstock

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