As per a Forbes report released yesterday, financial service provider Northern Trust has expanded its work with blockchain and cryptocurrencies ‘quite substantially’ in recent months.

For starters, not only has the firm added a wide array of blockchain features for managing its private equity workflow, but they have also opened their fund administration services to a ‘select group’ of hedge funds that are actively betting on BTC and ETH.

However, before proceeding any further, it is worth noting that as things stand, Northern Trust possesses over $10.7 trillion in assets under its custody and administration.

Which projects are being looked into?

While talking with a respected media outlet, Pete Cherecwich, President of Northern Trust’s corporate and institutional services, mentioned that the reason his company was committing so much time and energy towards blockchain technology was due to its potential to greatly “streamline internal company work processes”.

He then proceeded to add:

“You can take anything today. You can take movie rights, you can take all sorts of entities, and you can create a token for those. We have to be able to figure out how to hold those tokens, value those tokens, do those things.”

More on the matter

Out of a long line of projects that Northern Trust is looking into, their latest efforts regarding blockchain technology consist of a project that encompasses three “mainstream hedge funds”. However, the names of these hedge funds have not been revealed due to several non-disclosure agreements.

It is also worth mentioning that as of March 31, 2018, Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services had $370 billion worth of assets under its management, however, none of these assets were directly or indirectly linked to cryptocurrencies.

When asked if his company plans to foray into the world of digital currencies, Cherecwich said:  

“I do believe that governments will ultimately look at digitizing their currencies, and having them trade kind of like a digital token — a token of the U.S. dollar — but the U.S. dollar [would still be] in a vault somewhere, or backed by the government,” said Cherecwich, who worked at State Street for 20 years before joining Northern Trust. “How are they going to do that? I don’t know. But I do believe they are going to get there.”

Final Thoughts

In addition to all of the aforementioned details, it has also come to light that Northern Trust is moving to integrate blockchain technology into the life cycle of its “$77 billion private equity business”.

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