Deutsche Bank partners with Taurus to offer digital asset custody and tokenization services

Quick Take

  • Deutsche Bank has partnered with Swiss fintech Taurus to develop digital asset custody and tokenization services.
  • The collaboration follows Deutsche Bank’s participation in Taurus’ $65 million Series B funding round and its application for a digital asset license with Germany’s financial regulator earlier this year.

Banking giant Deutsche Bank has entered into a global partnership agreement with the Swiss-based crypto infrastructure firm Taurus SA to provide digital asset custody and tokenization services to its clients.

Germany's largest bank — which manages over €1.3 trillion ($1.4 trillion) in assets — will integrate Taurus' custody and tokenization technology to manage cryptocurrencies, tokenized assets and digital currencies, according to a statement.

Given the growth potential of the digital asset market, traditional financial companies need to adapt, said Deutsche Bank.

"As the digital asset space is expected to encompass trillions of dollars of assets, it’s bound to be seen as one of the priorities for investors and corporations alike," Deutsche Bank Global Head of Securities Services Paul Maley said. "As such, custodians must start adapting to support their clients."

Founded in 2018, Taurus provides enterprise-grade infrastructure for over 25 institutional clients to issue, custody and trade digital assets and also operates a marketplace for private assets and tokenized securities.

"This partnership is the result of a thorough and detailed selection and due diligence process where Taurus was able to demonstrate the quality and breadth of its products and technology," Taurus co-founder Lamine Brahimi said. "We are pleased to implement this global partnership with Deutsche Bank and look forward to supporting the bank in launching digital assets and DLT-based products and services across several booking centers."

Taurus funding round and BaFin digital asset license application

The partnership isn't the bank's first foray with Taurus. In February, Deutsche Bank participated in Taurus' $65 million Series B funding round, led by Credit Suisse. The funding is being used for Taurus' expansion plans, with the firm looking to open offices in Paris, Dubai, Southeast Asia and the Americas, co-founder Sebastien Dessimoz told The Block at the time. It also plans to increase its headcount from 60 to 100 staff this year.

The news follows Deutsche Bank's application for a digital assets license with Germany's financial regulator BaFin this summer, where regulatory permission would allow the bank to operate a custody service for digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. 

The bank's move aligns with its broader strategy to increase fee income, mirroring similar digital asset-focused efforts at its investment arm, DWS Group, David Lynne, head of Deutsche Bank's commercial banking unit, said in June.

Deutsche Bank has been eyeing the introduction of digital asset custody since late 2020, contrasting its research reports earlier that year, stating bitcoin is "too volatile" to be a "reliable" store of value.

Also in June, Taurus integrated the Polygon network into its tokenization and custody offering, becoming the fourth blockchain supported for clients following Ethereum, Tezos and Cardano.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.