2019 was an incredible year of growth for Hex Trust where we launched our product, grew the team, and secured some exciting partnerships. Here are the main highlights of the year.
Hex Trust will provide on-demand wallets that remove cold storage human attack vectors; bespoke and immutable risk-based approval policies for transactions, operations and administration; and support for any form of digital asset.
Beyond safeguarding private keys, Hex Trust will extend its offer to assets borrowing and lending, staking, collateral management, corporate actions, multi-custodian settlement, and other capabilities that provide financial returns for assets under management.
The Hex Trust platform is built on IBM™ Hyper Protect and includes enterprise-scale protected memory enclaves, FIPS 140–2 Level 4 hardware security modules, and Industry-leading data confidentiality and support for regulatory compliance.
“Through our relationship with IBM as a Business Partner Hex Trust has hit a key milestone. Leveraging IBM’s advanced data security and protection features through IBM™ Hyper Protect Virtual Servers with the dynamic accessibility and scalability, Hex Trust’s proprietary platform will encourage regulated financial institutions to enter the space.” Alessio Quaglini, CEO of Hex Trust.
“Data privacy and protection are key concerns for enterprises and customers within the digital asset business,” highlights Ross Mauri, General Manager for IBM Z. “By taking advantage of IBM Hyper Protect Services, Hex Trust can gain the benefits provided by the security and privacy solutions underpinned by IBM LinuxONE, to establish a highly secured platform for their institutional custody solution.”
We’re delighted to have brought on several key team members of substantial pedigree to the growing Hex Trust team.
Rajah Thiyagarajah — Chairman
Rajah is a financial services veteran, who started his career as a software engineer before progressing to the positions of regional and then group CIO for major Investment Banks. He’s also served on internal boards as well as the global customer advisory boards of numerous worldwide Fortune 100 companies including Microsoft, Cisco and Symantec.
Marty Jetton — Chief Operating Officer
Marty’s professional career began in Investment Banking with The Chase Manhattan Bank and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. He has built and managed enterprise-wide risk management teams in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Marty set up Chase’s first global custody operation in China, India, and Bangladesh.
Chris Lobello — Head of Strategy
Chris has worked in Asian financial markets for more than twenty years, in roles ranging from risk modeling to quantitative analysis to country and regional management, and at firms such as Nomura, CLSA, Daiwa, and Barra.
Calvin Shen — Head of Sales & Business Development
Calvin has over ten years of financial services and investment experience, in roles ranging from portfolio management, product strategy, consulting, institutional sales to business development. Prior to joining Hex Trust, he spent time at marquee fintech and asset management firms such as Figure Technologies and PIMCO.
2019 was our first full calendar year of operation as we went from MVP to the launch of our custody platform, starting with our priority ZeroKey wallet, token issuance platform, Hex Markets and Hex Clear solutions.
Key product updates:
In August, we secured insurance coverage for our clients’ digital assets and cryptocurrencies which are held in our custody solution.
The insurance coverage is arranged by Aon via a selection of international insurers. The insurance is a proprietary Aon solution and covers theft of digital assets, via employee dishonesty or through third parties, held by Hex Trust on behalf of their clients.
“Demand for digital assets protection continues to grow. Aon is a leader in the space to support our clients by guiding them through a robust risk differentiating — underwriting process, during which Hex has demonstrated to insurers their company’s management quality, security, processes and risk management controls. We are pleased with the outcome for Hex.” Murray Wood, Head of Financial Specialties, Asia at Aon.
“Providing our clients with insurance is an important milestone for Hex Trust as we’re constantly striving to build the best custody solution on the market. We’re delighted to have secured this coverage arranged by Aon to give our clients the peace of mind they receive in the traditional financial world for similar risks.” — Alessio Quaglini, CEO of Hex Trust.
At Hex Trust, we try to participate in all the major blockchain and fintech events in Asia. We spoke on panels, held workshops and, showcased product demos at Hong Kong Fintech Week, Singapore Fintech Week, Hong Kong Blockchain Week, SPOT Conference, Blockshow, Cyberport Venture Capital Forum, invest:asia, amongst others.
In 2019, we opened offices in Singapore and Vietnam to expand our presence in Asia. While in 2020, we’ll be expanding into Europe. Stay tuned to hear more about our expansion plans and hiring activities in each location.
Apart from our IBM partnership, we build several other key partnerships in the industry during 2019.
We partnered with TradAir and deployed their institutional trading technology as one of our core solutions. This provides our clients with the ability to trade digital assets directly from the Hex Safe custody platform.
“Hex Trust expert custodian service provides clients with the latest technological advancement of trading and custodial services. Ensuring technical leadership and the very best in User Experience has always been the objective of TradAir, which makes working with Hex Trust, who shares this vision a perfect partnership.”- Ayal Jedeikin, TradAir’s CEO
London Derivatives Exchange (LDX)
Hex Trust partnered with LDX to become their exclusive custodian and bring confirmation, settlement and clearing to Security Tokens. LDX is an exchange that deals with both traditional financial derivatives and blockchain-based digital assets. The exchange is approved and monitored by the British Financial Supervisory Service (FCA) which brings an added level of trust and security for institutional investors.
The first security token on LDX was SGHX and was listed in September 2019. The first 120M tokens were issued and were made available for trading on the platform. The tokens were priced at US$0.28, totalling US$34M.
In 2019, Hex Trust started collaborating with R3. Hex Trust will be providing custody solutions for assets on Corda, integrating Corda as a blockchain ledger to our Hex Safe custody solution, and also making our solution available to R3’s network of partners.
We keep close attention on the ever-evolving regulatory framework in our industry and obtained the required Trust and TCSP licenses in Hong Kong.
Hex Trust is now a registered Trust Company under the Hong Kong Trust Ordinance and holds a Trust or Company Service Provider (TCSP) license under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance. In terms of overseas, we are currently applying for licences in Singapore and in Europe.
We were recently featured in a couple of publications covering our partnership announcement with IBM.
Hex Trust today announced the launch of a new institutional custody solution that balances between secure access and the ease of use. This new solution, based on technology from IBM, aims to allow banks, funds, and exchanges access to the full breadth of digital assets, including tokens that represent a diversity of holdings such as commodities, companies, real estate, traditional currencies, and cryptocurrencies.
The traditional custody market is extremely large and is estimated at US$200 trillion of assets under custody according to FirstResearch. Currently, banking giants Bank of New York Mellon, State Street, JPMorgan, and Citigroup together oversee about 45% of those assets, according to estimates from analytics firm Trefis.
However, as we move forward towards a digitized world, an increasing number of assets will be digitized and need to be held in specialized digital asset custodians like Hex Trust.
The sector hasn’t gone unnoticed by the technology giant IBM, as they’ve recently announced one of Asia’s leading enterprise-grade digital asset custodians, Hex Trust, as a Business Partner.
Hex Trust is the Asian leader in enterprise-grade custody for digital assets. Led by innovators from the institutional financial services space, Hex Trust has built a proprietary platform that delivers a modern custody solution for financial institutions, digital asset organizations, and corporations to safely and efficiently operate in the blockchain ecosystem. ZeroKey, a proprietary technology, enables seamless transacting and fast access to assets stored on multiple blockchains while maintaining the highest levels of security of cold storage solutions. As a registered Trust Company under the Hong Kong Trust Ordinance and holding a Trust or Company Service Provider (TCSP) license under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance, Hex Trust offers a truly end-to-end digital asset servicing solution. Visit www.hextrust.com to learn more.