Northern Trust, the 486th largest corporation in the USA, has become the latest financial giant to expand operations into cryptocurrency and blockchain.
As reported by Forbes, the 129-year-old institution now provides fund administration to a select group of hedge funds trading Bitcoin and Ethereum and incorporates blockchain-based software for managing private equity workflow.
Chicago-based Northern Trust appears to cater to the appetites of its core clients — corporations, institutional investors, and high net-worth individuals — who entrust the company with $10.7 trillion in custody and administration.
The company is legally restricted from naming the three hedge funds incorporating cryptocurrency under its administration, yet its executive vice-president, Pete Cherecwich, described them as being “mainstream”.
Northern Trust will offer its traditional asset services to the three unnamed clients, however, it also developed many cryptocurrency-specific features including trade reconciliation and net asset value pricing.
While the multinational corporation does not itself hold cryptocurrency, it seems to place a great deal on the future of the emerging asset.
Speaking to Forbes, Cherecwich — who also serves as President of Corporate & Institutional Services — hinted that Northern Trust may be eyeing a more active role in cryptocurrency investment, emphasizing the importance of security-style tokens in the unfolding economy:
“You can take anything today. You can take movie rights, you can take all sorts of entities, and you can create a token for those. We have to be able to figure out how to hold those tokens, value those tokens, do those things.”
Going on, the executive cemented his belief in the role of the “digital token” in global governance:
“I do believe that governments will ultimately look at digitizing their currencies, and having them trade kind of like a digital token — a token of the U.S. dollar — but the U.S. dollar [would still be] in a vault somewhere, or backed by the government.”
As retail traders and investors pray for a return to the lofty heights of December 2017’s bull market, it is evident that some of the most established conservative financial institutions — and their clientele — are showing unabashed interest in the emerging technology and asset class.
In the face of a dwindling market capitalization — down 66% from its all-time-high — Northern Trust’s move may be considered another strong catalyst for an approaching institutional bull run.
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Original Post: Finance Giant Northern Trust Expands to Blockchain and Cryptocurrency