Last week, the Marco Polo network, a blockchain trade finance platform with a strong presence in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, announced the addition of the second U.S. bank – one of the world's largest custody banks, with $326.9 billion in assets – to join the platform. The Marco Polo network is seeking to leverage blockchain to replace less efficient paper-based processes in trade finance.

In custody news, Konainu, a joint venture for cryptocurrency custody and depositary services, was recently granted regulatory approval from the Jersey Financial Services Commission. According to a press release, Konainu is designed to provide institutional investors entering the cryptocurrency space with the security and infrastructure they are familiar with when trading traditional assets.

According to recent reports, one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world is planning to move $20 billion in assets – 40 percent of its total assets under management – to the blockchain-based custody platform Digital Vault by March 2020. The new platform will reportedly give investors real-time access to records and securities bought on private markets and reduce the time it takes to make checks or queries on holdings.

Earlier this week, one of the largest exchange-traded fund (ETF) providers in the U.S. launched a bitcoin exchange-traded product (ETP) on Switzerland's SIX stock exchange. The ETP is physically backed by the underlying bitcoin and is designed to give investors exposure to bitcoin without the need to directly hold the cryptocurrency or interact with the blockchain infrastructure, while offering transparency and institutional-grade digital currency custodians.

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