Not all digital asset custody fintechs are created equally and Metaco is proving itself again and again

Partnerships with the biggest names in traditional custody and a trebled headcount in 12 months has put Metaco in an exclusive club of digital asset start-ups who are truly making a difference for the advancement of institutional crypto custody.

Unsurprisingly, we receive a lot of news and pitches at Global Custodian about custody, but some are slightly wide of the mark. Police custody – not relevant. Custody of a child – also not relevant. Digital asset custody – most often not relevant either, and here’s why.  

We’re in the business of covering digital asset custody from an institutional investor perspective or when it relates to incumbent providers. Otherwise, we’re at risk of highlighting retail-only providers solely based on ambitions, those without institutional level-processes/safeguards or outfits that simply might not be around in 12 months’ time. We also want to avoid sensationalising the cryptocurrency space or portraying developments as being more significant than they actually are – but that’s a whole other story and rant I can get into another time.   

In a recent feature of ours – the Fintechs shaping the future of securities services – we picked a handful of providers who not only passed our internal smell test, but appear to be making waves in the space. Among them were Copper, Fireblocks, Lukka, Kingfield and an emerging firm called Metaco. 

Metaco first appeared on a radar when former Standard Chartered securities services stalwart Craig Perrin joined the team (he’s now chief sales officer) and since then the fintech has announced a number of significant partnerships and milestones. 

Among its partners Citi, BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, IHS Markit BBVA, DBS, Zodia Custody by Standard Chartered. That’s quite a roster of top tier custodians – arguably the broadest of all digital asset tech firms.  

In recent weeks we appear to be seeing even more of Metaco. Tie-ups with Deka Bank, Archax and the appointment of former global head of digital asset infrastructure at IBM, Peter DeMeo. The IBM veteran of almost 20 years takes on the role of chief product officer and the firm has also added the tech giant’s former lead architect, Angel Nunez Mencias as well. In the role, Nunez Mencias will oversee the commercialisation of Metaco’s multi-party computation key management solution – also a new development I believe – and work with top-tier banks to integrate MPC key shards natively in hardware security modules.  

Overall, Metaco has trebled its headcount in 12 months, including appointments with backgrounds at the likes of Accenture, PayPal, Citi and Euroclear.  

The firm’s goal is to enable the world’s largest banks to capitalise on the digital asset economy, and given the partnerships its striking and the personnel it’s adding, Metaco is certainly doing just that.  

Seamus Donoghue, chief growth officer at Metaco, said to Global Custodian on the recent growth:

“Global custodians and top-tier banks across the world are investing in the technology and expertise required to enable this paradigm shift, and Metaco – already working with 6 out of top 10 global custodians – has established itself as the leading custody and orchestration technology partner of choice to the industry. This puts Metaco in a unique position to bridge and work with these institutions to help define global, interoperable industry standards and innovative networked services, critical to unlocking broader institutional adoption of digital assets.”

For a full rundown of what Metaco does and why it’s making waves in the custody world, read our full profile of the eight-year old organisation in our fintech feature. 

But for now – amid countless digital asset pitches, scandals and firms who have disappeared off the face of the earth – I wanted to give credit where credit is due to a digital asset trailblazer worthy of coverage and a tip of the hat.