The financial world and blockchain industry received a significant shakeup recently with the announcement that the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTTC), the largest clearing and settlement service in the United States, has agreed to acquire Securrency, a renowned digital asset infrastructure developer. This acquisition is not just another routine business deal. Instead, it underscores DTTC’s grand ambitions in the rapidly evolving digital asset space, aiming to fuse its mammoth settlement capabilities with cutting-edge blockchain technology.
For the uninitiated, DTTC’s impressive numbers speak for themselves. The institution settled a staggering $2.5 quadrillion worth of securities transactions in 2022 alone. When you consider that its depository subsidiary oversees custody and asset servicing for securities from over 150 countries, amounting to an estimated $72 trillion, the scale of DTTC’s influence on global finance becomes evident.
Securrency, on the other hand, while not as vast as DTTC, boasts a stellar reputation for its advanced digital asset solutions. Supported by giants like State Street, U.S. Bank, WisdomTree, and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, and having forged partnerships with GK8, a renowned cybersecurity and digital asset custodian, the firm has established itself as a leader in the domain.
DTTC and Securrency: A match made in digital heaven
The acquisition, expected to be finalized within a few weeks, seeks to smoothly embed digital assets into DTTC’s existing range of services. While the terms of the deal remain confidential, there are already indicators of how this partnership might shape up. Securrency will undergo a name change to DTCC Digital Assets, but it will retain its core leadership and approximately 100 of its employees. Such a move ensures continuity, preserving the essence of Securrency’s innovation while integrating it into DTTC’s vast framework.
Frank La Salla, DTCC’s president, CEO, and director, expressed his enthusiasm for this strategic alliance. He said, “By bringing together DTCC’s extensive network of financial market participants with the sophistication of the Securrency technology, we will be in a leading position to unlock the value of digital assets.” Such a statement signals not just the immediate benefits of the acquisition but paints a picture of a future where digital assets might become mainstream, driven by the synergy between these two giants.
Additionally, DTTC intends to license Securrency’s technology and expand into professional services. Emphasizing Securrency’s prowess, DTTC will also champion its interoperability among distributed ledger solutions. Notably, WisdomTree, one of Securrency’s backers, already employs its software in the WisdomTree Prime digital asset platform, highlighting the tech’s market-ready applicability.
DTTC’s continued foray into the world of blockchain
While this acquisition might come as a surprise to some, DTTC’s interest in blockchain technology has been evident for a while. As early as 2020, the institution began exploring the possibilities within the blockchain space. Last December, in collaboration with the Digital Dollar Project, DTTC executed a securities settlement pilot project. This experiment used a simulated digital dollar to facilitate transactions with tokenized securities across T2, T1, and T0 settlements.
Such ventures showcase DTTC’s commitment to understanding and leveraging blockchain technology, ensuring that it remains at the forefront of financial innovation. By acquiring Securrency, DTTC not only acquires a state-of-the-art digital asset infrastructure but also demonstrates its readiness to embrace the future of finance.
The DTTC-Securrency deal is more than just a merger of two companies. It is a fusion of tradition and innovation, signaling a future where digital assets might find themselves at the center of global financial transactions. As we await the finalization of this acquisition, the finance world will keenly watch the ripples it creates. The promise is evident: a more integrated, efficient, and revolutionary approach to securities transactions in the digital age.