Crypto Custody – A Diverse Ecosystem for Digital Assets

Within a few years, a diverse ecosystem of crypto custodians with different technological approaches has been established (cold storage, warm/HSM-based storage, and multi-party computation). Interestingly, the solutions, which are technically quite different, all have their raison d’être. The heterogeneous needs of market participants can be an explanation for this. While some companies, for example, may require crypto custody for Bitcoin based on the motivation to hedge against possible risks from cash-equivalents, others may build an infrastructure for digital assets as such. Therefore, the choice of a dedicated crypto custodian is consequently not just a question of technology but must also reflect a company’s strategic orientation. However, Paypal’s recent announcement to acquire Curv shows an interesting trend. For companies that want to offer a flexible range of digital assets and handle high transaction volumes, multi-party computation seems to be the way forward.