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French international banking group BNP Paribas is exploring crypto custody through a partnership with Swiss institutional digital asset custody firm Metaco.

The matter was revealed by three people who have knowledge about the partnership deal. Despite the volatility in the crypto market, several banking giants are expanding their services to include crypto custody. However, the bank’s move into crypto custody is significant as BNP Paribas Securities Services’ boasts of almost $13 trillion in assets under custody.

The deal between BNP Paribas SA (EPA: BNP) and Metaco came amid the multiple partnerships of the Swiss firm with other major banks. Recently, Metaco entered into an agreement with French lender Societe Generale on a custody tech deal. It is evident that the Swiss digital asset custody firm is the go-to provider for companies seeking to debut in the crypto space.

Last month, Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C) selected Metaco to develop its digital asset custody. According to the two companies, Citi plans to integrate Metaco’s crypto custody firm. The joint venture is positioned to explode with Metaco’s position as a trillion-dollar digital asset keeper. Notably, Citi also holds around $27 trillion in assets under custody. A representative from Citibank noted that the agreement concerns the bank’s Securities Services team. The team’s Global Head, Okan Pekin, pointed out that the company saw “the increasing digitization of traditional investment assets along with new native digital assets.”

BNP Paribas and Metaco Partners as French Banks Begin Crypto Custody

French banks debuting into the custody space have mostly been focusing on security tokens. Many have been targeting tokenized versions of stocks or other financial instruments instead of pure crypto assets. Metaco CEO Adrien Treccani discussed this trend in an interview late last month. He referred to the beginning of traditional banks’ interest in cryptocurrencies. The CEO also mentioned the first-publicly traded company, MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ: MSTR), that purchased Bitcoin as a reserve asset. Treccani added that MicroStrategy started buying BTC when traditional banks were getting serious about digital assets. The CEO explained:

“The series of banks that were already working on certain topics suddenly transformed from innovation pilots to concrete go-to market strategies. You will start seeing a series of announcements involving very big custodians. It’s almost FOMO as these large banking players know that their future somehow depends on this capability.”

In April, BNP Paribas Securities Services announced an expansion of its broker-to-custody offering to Europe. Also, the securities services signed Spuerkeess. In a statement, Global Co-Head of Electronic Equities and Portfolio Trading at BNP Paribas, Torsten Schoeneborn, said, “the broker-to-custody platform is a central pillar of our investment in equities executive and underscores our ambitions as a leader in Global Equities.”

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