Brian Franz

State Street Launches Division to Expand on Crypto, CBDC, Blockchain, Tokenization

State Street has launched a new division focused on addressing the industry’s evolving shift to digital finance, State Street Digital, led by industry veteran and EVP Nadine Chakar.

State Street has become one of the leading institutional players in the build-up of the cryptocurrency ecosystem as of late. The new division aims to build on its current digital capabilities and expand activity on crypto, central bank digital currency, blockchain, and tokenization.

Ron O’Hanley, chairman and chief executive officer of State Street, said: “The financial industry is transforming to a digital economy, and we see digital assets as one of the most significant forces impacting our industry over the next five years. Digital assets are quickly becoming integrated into the existing framework of financial services, and it is critical we have the tools in place to provide our clients with solutions for both their traditional investment needs as well as their increased digital needs.”

State Street Digital will enhance its proprietary GlobalLink technology platform into a digital multi-asset platform to support crypto assets among other asset classes and the bank’s peer-to-peer ambitions by creating new liquidity venues for clients and investors worldwide.

“We have been developing a number of digital capabilities and other solutions as well as partnering and investing in the infrastructure that forms the foundation of State Street Digital”, said Chakar, who will report to Lou Maiuri, chief operating officer of State Street Corporation.

“State Street has a major role to play in the evolution of digital market infrastructure and this new division will help us bring our expertise and resources to the conversation. As digital currencies and tokenization not only gain momentum, but transform financial infrastructure and operating models, we can help our clients bridge the gap between the industry of today and the one of tomorrow.”

In 2019, the company launched State Street AlphaSM, the industry’s first front-to-back offering based on the principles of openness and interoperability.

In April of this year, State Street announced that it was appointed as the administrator of a planned bitcoin backed exchange traded note (ETN) initiated by Iconic Funds BTC ETN GmbH, a subsidiary of Iconic Funds GmbH. The ETN will be listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, following the approval by the German Securities Regulator (BaFin).

Separately in March, State Street announced that it was appointed as the fund administrator and transfer agent of the VanEck Bitcoin Trust (‘The Trust’) a new bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) that is currently pending approval by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Tony Bisegna, global head of portfolio solutions, FX sales and trading, and research for State Street Global Markets, will become the Head of Global Markets of State Street Digital, effective September 1, 2021.

The bank has recently partnered with Pure Digital in order to develop an OTC digital asset platform via Currenex.