Financial giant Deutsche Bank eyes crypto custody, tokenization

Another traditional finance giant is wading into the crypto space.

Deutsche Bank is set to establish digital asset custody and tokenization services via a new partnership with Switzerland-based Taurus — a firm that offers infrastructure to issue, custody and trade crypto, tokenized assets and NFTs. 

“The market has evolved to an extent where we see partnership opportunities key to developing the products and services that our clients are demanding,” Paul Maley, head of Deutsche Bank’s securities services, told Blockworks in an email. 

Deutsche Bank looks to initially offer custody of “selected cryptocurrencies and some stablecoins” for corporate and institutional clients in the German company’s “home market regions,” the executive added — though he did not name specific assets.

On the tokenization front, the firm aims to first tokenize traditional financial securities.

Read more: TradFi, DeFi convergence continues through tokenizing real-world assets

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said last year that the tokenization of securities is “the next generation for markets.” TradFi firms such as JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Franklin Templeton have been busy in recent years and months exploring the tokenization space.

“We expect to see more and more traditional assets and cash payments eventually come on-chain,” Maley said. “Positioning ourselves for the future is our primary focus and we are working on a select number of projects to develop our capabilities.”

A  journey into the space 

Deutsche Bank participated in Taurus’ $65 million funding round in February — a fundraise led by fellow traditional financial giant Credit Suisse. 

Taurus co-founder Lamine Brahimi told Blockworks at the time that Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank have integrated its tech, or planned to — noting there would be “landmark transactions” in the coming months.  

Teaming up with Taurus also comes after Deutsche Bank applied to Germany’s financial regulator in June to provide custody services for cryptocurrencies.

The latest partnership reflects “a natural extension” of Deutsche Bank initiatives laid out in a December 2020 report by the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Cryptocurrencies. the company noted in a Thursday news release.

Deutsche Bank said its aim at the time was to create a custody platform for institutional clients that would “introduce a secure connected bridge between digital assets and a customer’s traditional banking services.”  

The bank planned to manage various digital assets and fiat holdings on one platform and allow clients to access those assets via “an institutional-grade hot [or] cold storage solution with insurance-grade protection.”

“We are pleased to implement this global partnership with Deutsche Bank and look forward to supporting the bank in launching digital assets and DLT-based products and services across several booking centers,” Brahimi said in a Thursday statement. 

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