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State Street made headlines last month, announcing a brand new division covering crypto, digital assets, and tokenization.
State Street VP and Head of Global Markets, Nadine Chakar, is leading that charge. Despite the recent price slump in crypto-assets, interest has not abated, she noted in an interview for the latest episode of The Scoop:
“The price depreciation has not impacted demand and interest at all. I think we're still seeing a lot of people enthusiastically embracing digital in general, crypto in certain cases. And there's not a day that goes by that you don't see some large hedge fund or some large investor, you know, outlining their support for digital.”
To meet that demand, State Street is working with clients on developing solutions that help them allocate to bitcoin and other crypto-assets. It is also a partner to several fund managers looking to offer exchange-traded funds–although, it’s not clear when financial regulators will approve such a product.
Still, Chakar said the bank isn’t ready to dive into the market with a custody offering:
“We're not going to rush into this unless we can feel very comfortable that we could support the new digital assets with the same rigor that we support the old ones where we're going to continue to work on fine-tuning our models.”
Chakar also does not believe that a decentralized banking ecosystem will be built to replace banks or traditional finance institutions. Chakar mentioned pensions plans as an example of a traditional finance structure that DeFi may not be able to execute on. Though it's not an impossibility one day, she noted:
“There’ll always, always be a role for the banks to play, albeit and maybe in a different role. What that role will be, I think it's a bit too early to tell, but I hate to disappoint people that think the banks are just going to up and disappear and be totally replaced by blockchain.”
Nadine sees the balance between the integration of DeFi traditional finance as that “sweet spot” but sees the industry as still at a starting point.
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