Many of our articles have discussed the ongoing challenges faced by US, European and Japanese regulators, you know, the front line of the fight to make cryptocurrencies a respected and trusted asset class. The number of cryptocurrency heists, thefts, combined with the growing lists of bogus coins, forced the FSA in Japan (Yakuza have been surprisingly active), and the SEC in the US, to start working on global strategy, using the G20 in Argentina as a platform. The FSA being, the Financial Services Agency here in Japan.
At the same time, a series of new products and services have been offered by blue chip names such as IBM, Citi and most of the major banks in Japan. Most recently, a US firm, Northern Trust, which manages over $10.7 trillion in assets, has added blockchain features to its offering. As part of this offering (according to several news sources), this respected institution will extend its administration services to a select group of hedge funds who are active in digital assets.
Keep in mind that Northern Trust has signaled to the cryptocurrency world with a series of support services, as mentioned above, that collectively point to what we think is a broad-based interest from financial services companies. Northern Trust is establishing itself as a leader of a larger movement into digital assets, with strong platforms and networks that support a wide range of institutional investors.
KPMG, Deloitte, EY and PwC, the Big 4 accounting firms have all stepped up interest in cryptocurrency projects. And the Japan financial services powerhouse, Nomura, announced solutions for institutional investors. Nomura announced a venture to establish custody offering for digital assets, which, like the Northern Trust announcement mentioned above, would naturally support the most conservative blue chip investors.
Step-by-step, digital currencies are moving away from the past, filled with heists and questionable actors, to a future of respected and trusted money managers and financial services companies.