In the ever-evolving financial landscape, the convergence of traditional banking and blockchain technology has opened doors to new opportunities. DZ BANK AG, the central institution to the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network and one of the largest banking groups in Germany, has embraced this transformation, pioneering innovative digital asset use cases over the past years. We are thrilled to share that our digital asset custody and orchestration platform, Harmonize™, has played a pivotal role in empowering the launch of DZ BANK’s institutional digital asset custody offering, which recently went live. This cooperation signifies a major milestone in the journey towards merging traditional finance with the digital asset economy.

DZ BANK, a BaFin regulated financial institution and a leading custody provider in Germany, has always prioritized regulatory compliance and security. The bank recognized the potential of digital assets and embarked on a journey to create a secure, compliant and scalable solution for institutional clients in the space of crypto securities and digital currencies.

DZ BANK’s commitment to blockchain technology was evident from their involvement in custody transactions under the Electronic Securities Act (eWpG) and the issuance of a tokenized bond by Siemens, demonstrating their pioneering spirit in the digital asset space.

As initially announced in February 2023, Metaco Harmonize™ was the chosen infrastructure platform to bring DZ BANK’s vision to life. The decision came after an extensive proof-of-concept and diligence process that evaluated the platform, which concluded that Harmonize is perfectly aligned with DZ BANK’s requirements around security, scalability and optionality for adapting fast to any changes in the future.

Taking a top-tier bank live in less than 10 months

With assets under custody of more than EUR 300 billion, DZ BANK is the third-largest depositary in Germany and the largest among German depositaries.

After months of meticulous planning and implementation, DZ BANK made the groundbreaking announcement of the go-live of its commercial digital asset custody offering for institutions in November 2023 (link to the bank’s official press release), marking a significant milestone as the bank becomes one of the first regulated banks in Germany to launch such an offering for institutional customers.

The bank is now able to hold digital financial instruments, both for its own operations as well as on behalf of its institutional clients. In a first step, DZ BANK is now able to settle and hold crypto securities as regulated under German Electronic Securities act. One of the first use cases was to transfer the Siemens tokenized bond, in which DZ BANK and Union Investment both invested in about half a year ago, into its own custody solution. In order to offer custody services on its platform also for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin in the future, DZ BANK applied for a crypto custody license from the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) in June 2023.

Moreover, the bank is actively participating in the exploration phase of the European Central Bank (ECB) in settling large-volume capital market transactions into central bank money, demonstrating its commitment to advancing the financial ecosystem.

Metaco is proud to have played a role in powering DZ BANK’s digital asset custody platform. Our state-of-the-art software infrastructure is at the heart of this transformative journey, aligning seamlessly with DZ BANK’s vision for a secure, regulated, and scalable digital asset custody ecosystem.

The cooperation between DZ BANK and Metaco marks a significant milestone in the journey toward merging traditional finance with the digital asset economy. DZ BANK’s go-live announcement for its institutional digital asset custody offering is a testament to the successful relationship between two entities that prioritize regulatory compliance, security, and innovation.

We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and look forward to continuing our support for financial institutions as they navigate the exciting world of digital assets. Together, we are forging a path towards a future where traditional banking and decentralized finance coexist, providing clients with the best of both worlds.

For more details on DZ BANK’s momentous announcement, please refer to their official press release in German.

Stay tuned for further updates and reach out to us to learn more about our pioneering digital asset management platform.

February 2023, taken during the press release announcing Metaco being selected by DZ BANK. From left to right: Olaf Liebeskind – IT, Project Lead Digital Custody at DZ BANK; Kolja Gerlach –Operations, Project Lead Digital Custody at DZ BANK; Nils Christopeit – Operations, Lead Solution Design Digital Custody at DZ BANK; Craig Perrin – Chief Sales Officer at Metaco; Thomas Pecha – Sales Director DACH & CEE at Metaco; Johannes Kaske – Global Head of Solutions at Metaco.