The second-oldest continuously operating U.S. bank, State Street, has launched a new division dedicated to cryptocurrency and digital assets. 

Multi-trillion dollar asset manager, State Street Corporation, has become the latest financial institution to announce the launch of a dedicated digital finance division.

State Street, the second-oldest continually operating bank in the United States, announced the move on Thursday, June 10, highlighting the division’s focus on cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and tokenization.

”The financial industry is transforming to a digital economy, and we see digital assets as one of the most significant forces impacting our industry over the next five years,” asserted State Street CEO and chairman, Ron O’Hanley. He added:

“Digital assets are quickly becoming integrated into the existing framework of financial services, and it's critical we have the tools in place to provide our clients with solutions for both their traditional investment needs as well as their increased digital needs.”

The firm’s head of global markets, Nadine Chaker, will head the division and report its operations to COO Lou Maiuri. “State Street has a major role to play in the evolution of digital market infrastructure,” said Chaker.

The company hopes to expand its proprietary GlobalLink technology into a platform supporting multiple digital assets, including peer-to-peer functionality.

State Street currently boasts $3.6 trillion worth of assets under management and $40.3 trillion in custodied assets, and is the second major global custodian to launch digital asset services, following in the footsteps of BNY Mellon.

The creation of the new division is not State Street’s first foray into digital assets, with the firm having been appointed as the administrator of a German Bitcoin-backed exchange-traded note (ETN) from Iconic Funds in April. That same month, the firm invested in a $30 million Series B round for blockchain-based fintech and regtech firm, Securrency.

State Street was also named as administrator and transfer agent for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposed by VanEck in the United States during March. The firm also teamed up with Gemini in 2019 to trial automated reporting services for its custody customers.

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