U.S.-based custody bank Northern Trust is helping traditional “mainstream” hedge funds expand into cryptocurrencies, Forbes reported Tuesday.
Northern Trust’s president, Pete Cherecwich, told the news organization that the financial services firm is working with three hedge funds – whose names he declined to provide – to add cryptocurrency investments to their portfolios.
To that end, Northern Trust has reportedly created new administrative tools and services specifically for cryptocurrency assets. These include tools to price and trade cryptocurrencies, according to the report.
“You can take anything today. You can take movie rights, you can take all sorts of entities, and you can create a token for those. We have to be able to figure out how to hold those tokens, value those tokens, do those things.”
Ultimately, he said, he believes governments will digitize currencies on a blockchain. As such, many of Northern Trust’s efforts to integrate blockchain services are part of preparations for when fiat currencies are digital tokens.
The firm has been integrating blockchain services for over a year now. Most recently, the bank partnered with Big Four firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers to launch auditing technology for data stored on a blockchain. The project is aimed at streamlining audits by granting specific individuals a node on a bank’s private blockchain, allowing them to follow data as it is stored.