Swiss non-profit publishes guidance for digital currency custodians

A Swiss non-profit organization set up to advocate for blockchain in capital markets has published guidance for digital currency custodians, in a document thought to be the first of its kind in Switzerland.

The Capital Markets and Technology Association (CMTA) published its common guidelines for digital currency custodians, known as the Digital Assets Custody Standard. The guidance sets out to clarify different standards for storing digital currencies and traditional assets.

According to the body, the custody sector requires a baseline for operational and security best practice, as a means of reducing risk for digital currency investors.

Fedor Poskriakov, general secretary of CMTA, said the guidelines would support the development of digital capital market infrastructure in Switzerland.

“The digitalization of the capital markets infrastructures is accelerating. In that context, the launch of the ‘Digital Assets Custody Standard’ represents a key milestone, as it is the first initiative of the Swiss financial industry to agree on a common standard for custody and management of digital assets.”

He noted, “This will greatly contribute to the emergence of fully digital capital market infrastructures, including integrated custody and secondary trading venues. The benefits of the digitalization of the financial industry are such that the evolution towards decentralized infrastructures seems inevitable.”

The Geneva-based body was first set up in 2018, and helps small to medium size enterprises in particular take advantage of the benefits of blockchain technology. An essential service for institutional and corporate digital currency users, CMAT has pointed to the need for digital currency custodians to deliver higher levels of security and protection for their customers.

Dr. Jean-Philippe Aumasson, Tech Committee Chair at the CMTA, described the guidance as a “key milestone” in the development of capital markets blockchain infrastructure.

“The digitalization of the capital markets infrastructures is accelerating. In that context, the launch of the ‘Digital Assets Custody Standard’ represents a key milestone, as it is the first initiative of the Swiss financial industry to agree on a common standard for custody and management of digital assets.”

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