Fidelity-Backed Fireblocks Opens Asia Offices to Pitch Crypto 'Hot Vault'

Fireblocks, a platform that secures digital assets in transit, is expanding in Asia with two new offices, one in Hong Kong, the other in Singapore.

Apr 30, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:35 a.m. UTC

Fireblocks, a platform that secures digital assets in transit, is expanding its business in Asia with two new offices, one in Hong Kong, the other in Singapore. 

The New York-based firm now provides its secure transfer services to major Asian crypto firms including trading platform Amber, investment firm Blitz Group and hedge fund Three Arrow Capital, Michael Shaulov, CEO and co-founder of Fireblocks, told CoinDesk. 

“With the region’s unique ecosystem of trading, payment and exchange activities, there has been a surge in demand in Asia,” Shaulov said. 

Stephen Richardson, Fireblocks’ vice president of product strategy in Singapore, and Amy Zhang, its vice president of sales in Hong Kong, will be responsible for customer service and onboarding institutions and exchanges.

Founded in 2018, the firm received $16 million in funding last June through a Series A round from Cyberstarts, Tenaya Capital and Eight Roads, the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International. 

According to Fireblocks, it has sold its services to more than 22 different exchanges for handling 180 different cryptocurrencies. Clients include B2C2, Celsius, Genesis Global Trading, Galaxy Digital, Woorton, Dunamis, GSR, Blockfills, LGO and Nexo. Genesis Global Trading, like CoinDesk, is owned by Digital Currency Group.

The firm claims it has protected $30 billion in digital asset transfers to date with its patented multi-party computation (MPC) technology. MPC ensures there is no single point of failure and is compatible with a wider range of cryptocurrency protocols than multi-signature technology, according to Fireblocks. 

Another advantage of its MPC technology is its low cost, the firm said. 

“Multiple wallets based on multi-sig are associated with higher fees than regular, single address transactions,”  Shaulov said. “MPC-based wallets, however, are represented on the blockchain as a single wallet address, with the actual distributed signature computed outside of the blockchain.” 

“This translates into having the lowest fees possible for the transaction and can be critical when issuing hundreds of transactions per day, especially in [business-to-consumer] applications,” he added. 

The firm calls its service a "hot vault," implying that it combines the convenience of so-called hot wallets connected to the internet with the security of offline cold storage.

The platform passed an audit by consulting firm EY in December. It indicates the firm complies with industry data security standards and could serve traditional financial institutions.

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