Global banking giant HSBC has announced its intention to launch a custody service for blockchain-based assets in 2024, indicating a bold move that will likely have widespread effects on the trading industry. This initiative further solidifies HSBC’s commitment to using blockchain technology to improve transparency and efficiency across various sectors.
In recent years, blockchain, the digital ledger used to record ownership of tokens, has gained significant attention. Financial institutions have recognized its potential and have invested billions in exploring its applications. HSBC, based in London, has emerged as a leader in this field, with Zhu Kuang Lee, the bank’s Chief Digital, Data, and Innovation Officer, leading their efforts.
The upcoming custody service, developed with Swiss digital asset firm Metaco, will serve institutional clients seeking a secure storage solution for their non-crypto digital assets. This innovative service will allow the secure storage and management of traditional financial assets represented by blockchain-based tokens. The move is in response to the growing demand for custody and fund administration of digital assets from asset managers and owners.
HSBC’s entry into blockchain-based custody services follows the successful launch of its digital asset platform, HSBC Orion, in 2021. This platform enables financial institutions to issue blockchain-based versions of financial assets, expanding the possibilities for digitizing and democratizing access to traditional financial markets.
Although HSBC has not disclosed the size of the market for blockchain-based assets, excluding cryptocurrencies, the value of cryptocurrencies has declined from its peak above $3 trillion in late 2021 to approximately $1.4 trillion, according to CoinGecko data. While cryptocurrencies still represent a small portion of the global financial system, the potential of blockchain technology to reshape industries is undeniable.
The announcement of the custody service aligns with HSBC’s ongoing exploration of blockchain technology. In 2019, the bank launched Digital Vault, a platform that allows investors to access digital records of securities purchased on private markets. This initiative has gained momentum, solidifying HSBC’s position as a leader in embracing digital transformation.
By leveraging the benefits of blockchain, including enhanced security, immutability, and decentralized record-keeping, HSBC aims to revolutionize asset storage and trading. The custody service will provide a secure environment for non-crypto digital assets and streamline the trading process by reducing intermediaries and increasing transparency.
In the rapidly changing financial landscape, HSBC’s forward-thinking approach positions the bank as a key player in the digital revolution. The launch of the custody service in 2024 will be a significant milestone for HSBC, highlighting its commitment to harnessing the potential of blockchain technology to meet the evolving needs of its institutional clients.
In summary, HSBC’s plans to introduce a blockchain-based asset custody service in 2024 demonstrate the bank’s dedication to embracing technological advancements in the financial industry. By offering secure storage for non-crypto digital assets, HSBC aims to facilitate efficiency and transparency in trading. With HSBC leading the way, the trading industry is set to undergo a transformative shift towards a more secure and streamlined future.