Mercari taps METACO to launch institutional digital asset custody in Australia

Rick Steves

“Australia is a growing hub for digital assets in APAC with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) recently setting out a crypto policy roadmap on the asset class.”

Licensed Australian Tier 1 wholesale financial derivatives exchange, Mercari, has selected METACO to launch its institutional digital asset custody operations.

Mercari boasts a suite of crypto-asset investment services, having recently launched the Mercari DAR Crypto Reference Rates, the first local AUD crypto-asset benchmarks for the Australian and Asia markets.

The firm is licensed as an electronic derivatives exchange since 2005 and is focused on the development of financial market infrastructure for wholesale derivatives markets, having been the first licensed electronic swaps marketplace to operate in Australia.

Australia is a growing hub for crypto in APAC

To launch its institutional digital asset custody offering, Mercari will use METACO’s custody and orchestration platform, Harmonize, so that users can store, trade, and settle digital assets.

Harmonize is supported by IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services, which allows it to scale to millions of wallets while maintaining control over private keys for risk management and ensuring that keys are securely stored on local infrastructure in Australia.

Patrick Enjalbal, Managing Director APAC at METACO, commented: “Australia is a growing hub for digital assets in APAC with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) recently setting out a crypto policy roadmap on the asset class. We’re proud to partner with Mercari, a regulated and innovative exchange, to support engagement with the asset class in Australia. Our platform, Harmonize, provides institutional-grade security and governance for the custody of crypto-assets while ensuring the requisite flexibility and agility for innovators like Mercari to go to market and scale quickly.”

Brian Price, director of Mercari, commented: “As a leading regulated derivatives marketplace we recognise that when the legislative frameworks both in Australia and internationally are ultimately settled there will be a requirement for new and structurally appropriate institutional product solutions for the crypto class of assets.

“Our work with strategic partners such as Metaco and IBM Cloud will help ensure that Mercari maintains a standard of excellence commensurate with the most stringent of true institutional use case expectations. We are anticipating that without ultra-high grade domestic institutional digital asset custody the industry will struggle to attract wide-based internal compliance and regulatory support.”

Irrespective of how Harmonize is consumed, custodians retain physical control of the root of trust in the assets and the policies that govern the management of the assets.

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