Traditional finance firms are making their way further into crypto and down the rabbit hole, according to Omer Amsel, director of Fireblocks Web3. Fire blocks hold funds on behalf of over 1,500 financial institutions and allow them to interact with blockchains and cryptographic services. These companies, especially the more traditional ones, are starting with custody services and slowly moving towards more crypto-native interactions, Amsel said in an interview at Breakpoint, Lisbon. They are more cautious,” said Amsel. He pointed to BNY Mellon’s recent launch of a crypto storage service that uses Fireblocks behind the scenes.
“I think it’s accelerating. I would say so. I think it’s a cumulative thing. Amsel provided a hypothetical example of a company that may have started custody of cryptocurrencies a year or two ago. He said these companies take that first step, see that it’s okay, and then begin exploring the technology further. I’m trying to say that you will see the volume of these players continue to grow internally and as an industry and in general,” said Amsel.
Running their validators
Some of these financial firms and traditional banks have started running their blockchain validators (nodes that keep the blockchains running) because the infrastructure they already have is enough. These banks have many servers designed for uptime, which means they’re suitable for running validators, Amsel said. The Fireblocks service allows companies to deposit their tokens with Fireblocks and stake their validators. “We’re seeing that some of these more traditional institutions are dedicating some of their IT to running nodes and validators themselves and then tying some of their funds to their validators,” Amsel said. “Well, I think that’s very interesting. It’s still niched in that sense, but we’re seeing more and more of it.