Mason Privatbank Liechtenstein AG is joining the ranks of Liechtenstein-based banks that are offering digital asset services. The bank has signed a partnership with Hong Kong-based Hex Trust to provide digital asset custody.
Mason Privatbank is one of many banks in the region that started to offer digital asset services, and more will likely follow. COVID might have been a setback to the world, but it has propelled digitalization, also in the financial industry. Banks already know they need to digitize their business models, and now the pressure has increased.
Hubert Buechel, Chief Markets Officer at Mason Privatbank, says, “We see more and more demand from asset managers and investors who want to diversify their portfolios and invest in digital assets. A trend that has only been amplified in light of the current market turbulences. Our goal is to offer regulated, but frictionless banking-grade digital assets cold storage to our clients, and this is why we team up with Hex Trust.”
Buechel himself joined the bank last July after leaving Bank Frick, the first bank in Liechtenstein that got involved with blockchain banking. In October 2019, Mason Privatbank announced a partnership with Own to provide blockchain-based fundraising services.
Custody services for high-net-worth-clients and institutions
Mason Privatbank is offering these digital custody services to its high-net-worth-clients in Europe and Asia that invest in digital assets, in particular, cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and security tokens. As those clients are mostly buy-and-hold-type investors and not day-traders, the bank adopted Hex Trust’s least invasive level of integration.
“We don’t have any day traders in our client base,” said Buechel. That means the bank’s clients won‘t execute many trades and don’t need a custody solution for active traders. In the future, the bank could also connect with Hex Trust through a SWIFT integration or enable the trust company to build application programming interfaces (APIs) that link directly to the bank’s core.
The partnership will also enable clients to connect to third-party providers who can provide crypto lending, staking, borrowing, and trading. “Our goal is to create interconnectivity between the traditional asset world and the digital asset ecosystem,” said Hex Trust CEO Alessio Quaglini.
More to come in the future?
The partnership between Mason Privatbank and Hex Trust is exciting on many levels. First, it does strengthen the connection between Liechtenstein’s and Hong Kong’s digital asset ecosystem. Mason Financial Holdings, the bank’s parent company, is also based in Hong Kong.
Second, according to Buechel, Mason Privatbank Liechtenstein plans to offer their services to both crypto-focused private investors and asset managers who want to diversify their portfolios. It thus puts Mason Privatbank on the map of blockchain-banking providers in Liechtenstein.
The partnership can also be understood as the kickoff event of an expansion of Hex Trust in Europe. The company plans to further expand its reach throughout Europe with offices in Italy and Germany in 2020. Hex Trust has already been provisionally authorized by Germany’s Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) to provide crypto custody services and is currently applying for the crypto custody license in Germany.