September 14, 2023 at 13:55 GMTModified date: September 14, 2023 at 13:55 GMT
September 14, 2023 at 13:55 GMT

Deutsche Bank set to offer crypto custody, tokenisation with Taurus

Deutsche Bank has started working with Taurus, which is a Swiss start-up that specialises in crypto safekeeping.

Germany’s biggest lender is looking to offer digital asset custody and tokenisation services in the country. For the same, it has started working with Taurus, which is a Swiss start-up that specialises in cryptocurrency safekeeping.

The bank will utilise the startup’s custody and tokenisation technology to manage cryptocurrencies, tokenised assets and digital assets. Deutsche Bank had revealed its plans to become a crypto custodian in February 2021. Back then, it said that it wanted to explore cryptocurrency custody in order to be able to offer “institutional-grade hot/cold storage solutions with insurance-grade protection”.

In June, this year, the banking giant had applied for a crypto custody licence from the country’s financial watchdog, BaFin. A green light from the regulator would allow the bank to operate a custody service for digital assets.

Back then, head of the bank’s commercial banking unit, David Lynne, had tagged the application as a part of a wider strategy to increase fee income at Deutsche Bank’s corporate bank. Its investment arm, DWS Group, has also been observed taking similar digital asset-focused efforts.

The bank had made an investment in Taurus earlier this year as a part of a $65m Series B round. Led by Credit Suisse, the funding round also featured Arab Bank Switzerland and Pictet Group.

According to Taurus co-founder Lamine Brahimi Deutsche Bank’s plans for prospective crypto custody firms which kicked off in 2021 ended sometime in 2022.

In an interview, she was noted saying: “We won the deal a couple of quarters ago, so the bank became a client and then decided to take a stake in Taurus. The partnership focuses on cryptocurrencies, but we are well known for going beyond cryptocurrencies. So, where it sees fit, the bank will be able to tokenise assets and provide asset servicing.”

The German bank’s interest in digital asset custody started quite recently too. Back in 2020, it had tagged Bitcoin as “too volatile” to be a “reliable” store of value in a research report titled ‘The Future of Payments’.

Paul Maley, who is Deutsche Bank’s global head of securities services, said that now the plan is to develop digital asset custody services for a wide variety of digital asset types for corporate and institutional clients.

He added: “In the first instance, we will offer custody for selected crypto currencies and some stablecoins. We expect the first wave of activity to be around these selected cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. However, we see the opportunity in the broader emergence of tokenised financial assets.”