The Reuters news agency reported this week that Dutch bank ING is developing asset custody technology that could be used to help customers securely store various types of digital assets. The report relied on unnamed sources “familiar with the matter” who said that the project is in an early stage and is but one of ING’s ongoing blockchain initiatives.
ING “sees increasing opportunities with regard to digital assets on both asset backed and native security tokens,” the bank said in a written statement to Reuters. ING is particularly focused on developing the technology behind digital assets to give its clients a compliant way to access the emerging sector, it added.
Reuters noted that other banks and financial services companies have been working to develop similar custody services, with the expectation that many non-digital assets – like stocks and bonds – will eventually be digitized and perhaps “issued and transferred using blockchain technology.” Some financial experts believe that converting those assets into digital form would cut costs and streamline processes in the capital markets.
The report also cited the “scarcity of custody” services by reputable financial firms as a major obstacle preventing greater institutional investor participation in the digital asset markets.