US based Protego Trust Bank N.A. (protegotrust.com), a new kind of bank designed and built specifically for institutional clients seeking opportunities within the world of digital assets has received conditional approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The new federal charter will allow Protego to convert from a Washington State chartered trust company into a nationally chartered trust bank and will enable Protego clients nationwide to hold, trade, lend and issue digital assets.
Protego Trust Bank N.A. will be a vertically integrated and fully regulated bank that’s built on blockchain and provides four primary types of services, Custody of digital and other assets, A trading platform for clients of the bank, The capability for clients of the bank to borrow and lend to and from each other and Issuance of new digital assets
“Our best-in-class custody and trading technology was designed by people who have worked within the largest financial organizations in the world and who understand the requirements of those high-performing, complex, regulated businesses,” stated Doug Mehne, Protego’s Chief Operating Officer. Weiyee In, Protego’s Chief Information and Data Governance Officer, added, “Our core banking, data governance, risk management and reporting technology stack has been architected to exacting institutional standards. It provides a high degree of interoperability with our clients’ existing systems by bridging existing financial services and market structure technology platforms globally into the digital future.”
“Protego’s integrated offering will be of great benefit to institutions that want to be able to store their assets in a federally regulated bank, be able to add to or dispose of their positions by trading inside our institutional grade platform that is already integrated with nearly every Order Management and Execution Management system, and know that they are only trading with fully vetted, identified, and compliant institutional counterparties,” said Jonathan Silverman, Protego’s Chief Strategy Officer.
Added Chris Hunter, Protego’s Head of Business Development, “The demand from institutional investors for secure and compliant access to digital assets – led by Bitcoin – is growing everyday. I think that’s one reason why we have already secured commitments for more than $1.5 billion in AUC at launch.”
“One reason why institutional investors are drawn to Protego is our focus on compliance,” stated Bonnie Wells, the Bank’s Chief Compliance Officer. “We were determined to build a compliant institution from the outset, and made the tough decision to pursue the long process of obtaining a charter, knowing that our target clients would value a fully and appropriately regulated, compliant banking partner.”
Largely because of this emphasis on compliance, Protego Trust Company became the first and only digital asset-focused trust company chartered by the State of Washington.
“We have been very fortunate to be able to work with knowledgeable and forward-thinking regulators at both the OCC and Washington State Department of Financial Institutions. The OCC has made huge strides in a short period of time with respect to the approval of digital banks, and we are thrilled to have been among the first approvals issued by the OCC. That approval would never have been possible without the foresight and vision of the Washington State DFI,” stated Greg Gilman, Protego’s founder and Executive Chair, who is also a co-founder and managing partner at Science Inc. where he oversees its studio Science Blockchain.
The Protego executive team brings together experience from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, State Street, BNY/Mellon, Morgan Stanley, BitGo, Kraken, BNP Paribas, UBS and others. This team is overseen by a Board of Directors that includes the former Global General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer of Russell Investments, the CEO of Windham Capital Management, a founder and senior executive of numerous community and regional banks in the Pacific Northwest, and a recently retired Admiral who previously served as Cybersecurity Division Director and Deputy Chief Information Officer for the US Navy.