Recent weeks have seen institutional interest in digital currencies reach new heights. It’s unsurprising, given the increasingly collaborative approach from regulators, and the ten largest digital assets alone now being worth a combined market value of over $300bn. Institutional investors are actively exploring ways to gain exposure to this rapidly emerging asset class - in fact, one in five finance firms are considering launching crypto trading and investment businesses in the coming year.
Despite a rapid rise in the number of specialist digital asset investment funds and operations, and the establishment of digital asset trading desks within traditional banks, investors still lack the robust compliance frameworks and security tools to safeguard assets effectively. Digital asset investors are facing a number of security and compliance challenges, from hack attempts to physical safety risks and non-compliant trading activity. But a new partnership announced by Smart Valor, Ledger and progressive investors such as Global Advisors, could provide a solution to this critical problem. Another key partner in this partnership is the Japanese bank Nomura.
After selling more than 1m+ Nano S hardware wallets for digital assets, cryptosecurity leader Ledger has created an early access program for Ledger Vault - the first enterprise-grade security solution for digital assets. And we’re excited to confirm that SMART VALOR has joined a small group of pioneers testing this new solution alongside Global Advisors, Genesis Trading, IronChain Capital and XBTO.
The Ledger Vault is the only digital asset security solution that gives investors full control of their assets. In the coming months, SMART VALOR and Ledger will test and develop hardware and software security features for digital assets, before wider availability of the Ledger Vault to institutional investors later in 2018.
Dr. Julien Bringer, the company’s Chief Security and Cryptography Expert, said: “The secure custody of crypto assets is one of the core components of our infrastructure, and we’re excited to join this exclusive group of partners for the Ledger Vault early access program. While a lot of players in our field are working on building their own solutions from the ground, we decided to take a partnership approach, working with leading domain experts to design both key components of our infrastructure: custody and exchange.”
Joining the program is an important milestone for SMART VALOR, and comes as application was submitted to receive a status of Financial Intermediary in Switzerland - with an Anti Money Laundering (AML) licence. Together, these will allow the company to begin offering escrow, Know Your Customer (KYC) and onboarding services for businesses raising capital through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), all with the security benefits of Ledger Vault and in compliance with FINMA’s recently published regulatory guidelines.
SMART VALOR CEO and founder, Olga Feldmeier, spoke with industry leaders about the news at Consensus 2018 this week - one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency conferences. On the implications of the announcement, she explained: “A secure enterprise solution for custody of crypto assets, in combination with regulatory approval, is the winning formula in the crypto space today.”
Smart Valor CEO Olga Feldmeier and COO Oliver Feldmeier with the Ledger team at Consensus 2018 in May 2108
“With the company now benefiting from early Ledger Vault access and on the cusp of receiving regulatory approval, we will be capitalizing on Switzerland’s progressive regulatory approach to ensure that our customers have not only secure solutions, but also to ensure that we’re operating in a fully compliant environment” said Feldmeier, who previously led the licensing process for Xapo, one of the largest Bitcoin custodians today.
This week’s news will pave the way for a phased launch of SMART VALOR’s services, and will soon be followed by further regulatory and technical milestones - including a ‘security dealer’ licence in combination with Organized Trading Facility (OTF) status, allowing the business to become a fully licenced exchange for security tokens such as company shares or publicly traded funds.
The company will also soon roll-out a demo version of the SMART VALOR marketplace, on an invite-only basis. To keep informed, follow the team on Telegram, Twitter or subscribe to newsletter updates on https://news.smartvalor.com/