Bank of New York Mellon has invested in Fireblocks, a startup that specializes in cryptocurrency safekeeping. The bank's investment is part of a $133-million funding round, Reuters reported.
The bank is preparing to offer cryptocurrency custody services—storing and handling funds on behalf of customers—for the first time later this year. It's the world's largest custodian, looking after $41 trillion in client assets.
Fireblocks is reportedly part of BNY Mellon's custody plans, according to unnamed sources cited by CoinDesk. The bank has said it would work with external partners to offer some of its cryptocurrency services. Neither the bank not Fireblocks have confirmed working together beyond the investment.
Besides custody, Fireblocks also offers a suite of "tokenization" services, which convert financial instruments to blockchain-based assets. This includes a tokenization "engine" that allows users to create security tokens and stablecoins, assets on a blockchain that represent securities like equities or bonds, and assets that mimic the price of an existing fiat currency, respectively.
BNY Mellon has said it would offer tokenized securities as part of its cryptocurrency services. This will be done by a new team that will explore additional services like lending against crypto collateral.
"We are starting with the anchor in this space, which is custody," the head of BNY Mellon's crypto unit, Mike Demissie, said in February.
The Fireblocks funding round values the company at nearly $1 billion, according to an unnamed source with knowledge of the matter cited by Reuters. Other investors in the round include Ribbit, Coatue, Stripes and SVB.
Deutsche Bank is also developing a crypto custody service as part of a larger offering, which will include trading. Major Wall Street names are increasingly involved in cryptocurrencies: Morgan Stanley is offering wealthy clients access to Bitcoin funds for the first time, while JPMorgan has developed a structured product to capture cryptocurrency exposure. Goldman Sachs has restarted a Bitcoin futures trading desk.