You may have noticed mentions of Fireblocks across a range of crypto-related articles. Now the crypto custody market has partnered with FIS, the Fortune 500 technology provider to banks and capital markets firms, to offer crypto services.
This deal will enable FIS’s 6,400 clients to access large crypto trading venues, liquidity providers, lending desks and decentralized finance (DeFi) applications. Who are FIS’s clients? A mixture of asset managers and hedge funds, as well as banks and brokers.
Adam Levine, Fireblocks’ Head of Corporate Strategy, said, “This is going to be a great opportunity to empower FIS’s clients to access all the weird and wonderful things of digital assets. Whether that’s holding a variety of cryptocurrencies, making payments on stablecoins, accessing lending and borrowing platforms, or accessing permissioned DeFi, which is appropriate for the regulated institutions that we’re talking about.”
It may seem like just another day, another deal. But, when you look at how regularly we are seeing similar stories in the crypto-related media, it is a clear indication that institutions are edging closer to crypto – provided the right sort of know-your-customer (KYC) is made available to them. In this case they will have been reassured by Fireblocks’ close relationship with Aave Arc to provide just this kind of support. Levine said, “FIS clients would absolutely have the opportunity to participate on Aave Arc; obviously, they will have to go through the KYC-related whitelisting process, which we don’t anticipate being a challenge.”
FIS is in a strong position as the big banks explore crypto products, even if they just dip their toes in the water with crypto derivatives. John Avery, FIS head of product for digital assets explained that since FIS is a fintech provider with 30 years of experience, they are well-placed to provide what the big banks are seeking. Avery said, “There are investors who will seek out synthetic exposure as their only means of access to crypto and digital asset investing. But for the market makers and the brokers, they will need access to the underlying physical assets.” He added, “The appetite of traditional clients to control their own wallet technology and get exposure to different types of these assets will grow over time, either for their own portfolios or to support their structured products or derivatives businesses on top.”