The rumour mill has been running wild with reports that BNP Paribas is about to launch a crypto-currency custody service for the general public. The development of this service would be a positive sign for the blockchain sector as BNP Paribas is one of the largest banks in France.
This information comes directly from our colleagues at CoinDesk who revealed the information yesterday. At first, the French bank refused to comment on this possibility, leaving doubt as to the veracity of this information. Nevertheless, three people directly linked to the launch of this new service have confirmed the information.
Thus, this rumour should quickly become a press release. It is likely that the information was leaked to the press on purpose to gauge the reaction of the community, but also to receive feedback before the official launch of the service.
BNP Paribas partners with Metaco to launch its cryptocurrency custody service
The launch of a custody solution requires the involvement of domain experts in the creation of the project. BNP Paribas has therefore teamed up with a Swiss company specialising in the field, called Metaco. The latter has also remained silent in the face of the rumour, despite the many requests it has received.
Metaco is a company specialising in crypto-currency management, mainly for institutional investors. Recently, the company distinguished itself by announcing an agreement with Citigroup (C), but also partnerships with several banks including BBVA, UnionBank Philippines and especially with Société Générale. Metaco is now considered a behemoth in the sector, becoming a reference in the field of crypto-currency custody for banks and renowned institutions.
In concrete terms, the extent of this collaboration is estimated thanks to the weight held by BNP Paribas on the market. Indeed, the bank’s asset custody subsidiary, BNP Paribas Securities Services, already manages nearly $13 trillion in assets as a custodian for clients around the world.
Following this announcement, the community took it upon themselves to give their opinion on what they thought of this collaboration. It quickly became apparent that there are two fundamentally different opinions.
On the one hand, one side believes that the retention of digital assets by a banking entity is a guarantee of security for the whole ecosystem. Indeed, it is unlikely that a bank like BNP Paribas would be in financial distress as some CeFI companies have been recently. The only situation in which one can imagine the bank failing would certainly plunge the global economy into even murkier waters than those experienced today.
On the other side, many voices are being raised to criticise BNP Paribas’ opportunism to interfere in the world of blockchain and crypto-currency. Disintermediation, as well as the disappearance of traditional banks, is an ideology that is strongly imbued in the sector. Therefore, the custody of crypto currencies by a centralized entity, and symbol of the traditional financial model is not necessarily viewed favorably.
While waiting for the official confirmation of this partnership between BNP Paribas and Metaco, the ideological confrontation between these points of view makes for a particularly interesting debate. Finally, regardless of one’s opinion, the potential launch of this service undeniably rhymes with the democratisation of the crypto-currency sector within society.
BNP Paribas denies entering the crypto custody business
According to the latest information, BNP Paribas has denied that it is in the business of holding crypto-currencies. For the time being, this service should not see the light of day. Nevertheless, one can legitimately wonder about the impact of the bear market on this probable collaboration.
Indeed, in times of crypto winter, many projects delay announcements about their activity, hoping for better days. Thus, BNP Paribas is potentially waiting for a turnaround in the market trend to officially launch its crypto custody service in a more favourable economic dynamic.