The first and only Washington-chartered digital assets company Protego Trust Bank will become the second digital asset bank in the US to receive conditional approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to custody digital assets for institutional clients.
The approval will allow Protego to transition from a single state-chartered trust company into a federally-approved digital assets-focused bank, designed to help institutional investors nationwide to navigate the digital assets market including cryptocurrencies.
“The OCC granted conditional approval to Protego after thorough review of its conversion application. Protego is currently in the organization phase of development and will have up to 18 months to meet the terms of its conditional approval before it converts to a national trust bank and begins to operate.”
In addition to the custody of digital assets, Protego will offer related services including lending, a trading platform, and digital assets issuance to its clients.
Protego-Designed To Offer Highest Quality Services
Protego will be a blockchain-based, vertically integrated, and fully-compliant digital bank that will offer best-in-class custody and trading technology to clients.
“Our core banking, data governance, risk management and reporting technology stack has been architected to exacting institutional standards.”
As a blockchain-based system, Protego is set to provide a high degree of interoperability between its platform and existing clients’ platforms to enable seamless and secure transactions. According to Chris Hunter, Protego’s Head of Business, the charter is just in time to cater to the growing demand from institutional investors.
“The demand from institutional investors for secure and complaint access to digital assets-led by Bitcoin-is growing every day. I think that’s one reason why we have already secured commitments for more than $1.5 billion in AUC at launch.”
Anthony Pompliano, cofounder of Morgan Creeks digital assets management fund, also commented on Protego’s OCC approval.
“Protego just received approval for a national charter from the OCC to custody digital assets. They’re a portfolio company, so you know the team is ambitious and unrelenting as they go after this market.”
The OCC has Forward-thinking Regulators
The announcement comes barely a month after the OCC issued its first qualified custodian approval to Anchorage on Jan 13, 2020, making it the first National Crypto bank in the US. Kraken crypto exchange and de novo bank Avanti have state charters in Wyoming.
Greg Gilman, Protego’s Founder and Executive Chair commended forward-thinking regulators at the OCC and Washington for approving multiple digital asset custodians in a short time.
“That approval would never have been possible without the foresight and vision of the Washington state DFI.”
The OCC first issued a statement on July 22 2020 clarifying that national banks would be allowed to hold crypto assets on behalf of their clients.