CUSTODY IN THE AGE OF DIGITAL ASSETS

How did it start?

The market for digital assets has evolved dramatically since the release of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin
white paper nearly ten years ago.

From Bitcoin’s origins as a peer-to-peer system of value transfer to the development of smart contracts and countless other blockchain applications, cryptography-based digital assets have become one of the most disruptive and revolutionary technologies since the advent of the internet.

Today there are at least 1,600 crypto coins and tokens, according to CoinMarketCap.com. Although it may be hard to think of another market that has developed as quickly, it is not difficult to see parallels between the development of digital assets and that of traditional asset classes such as stocks, bonds, and commodities.

Digital assets may soon become recognized as investable “stores of value,” tradable on global, licensed exchanges, and accessible to a broad swath of individuals and institutions across the globe. And just as with stocks, bonds, or commodities, investors will want to keep these assets safe from theft or loss.

As the industry has evolved, solutions aimed at keeping digital assets safe have continued to develop. Enhancements to offline storage, multi-signature protocols, and other security measures are aimed at increasing investor confidence that their assets are secure.

These developments are important, but for institutions holding digital assets on behalf of their clients, they may not go far enough.

 

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