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BNY Mellon exec on why the bank is partnering with fintech Fireblocks for its crypto custody service: “Unlike the traditional space, if you lose the keys to digital assets, you effectively lose the assets, so heightened cybersecurity is very, very important.” 

America’s oldest bank made waves when it launched its crypto custody service earlier this month, but a top exec says that knowing when to partner with specialists is one of its greatest strengths.

BNY Mellon earned well-deserved credit for being the first traditional bank to launch digital asset custody services in early October, but an executive is quick to point out that it needed to rely on fintech partners to maintain its high standards for client protection.  

Despite the bank’s “very thorough and robust cybersecurity departments,” it’s entrusting wallet management to Fireblocks, an infrastructure platform it invested in last year. Digital assets are a new beast for the bank, so it “looked across the industry at specialized firms,” BNY Mellon’s CEO of custody services, Caroline Butler, told Protocol. Fireblocks also counts BNP Paribas and ANZ Bank among its clients. 

Knowing when it makes sense to partner with subject matter experts is one of BNY Mellon’s key strengths, Butler said. “[Clients] are appreciating that we have the ability to innovate in a very measured and prudent fashion.” 

BNY Mellon also partners with Chainalysis for compliance.