HK-based Legacy Trust spins off its digital asset business into a separate unit

By Staff Reporter

Legacy Trust Company, a Hong-Kong licensed trust company, is launching a new business, First Digital Trust, to accommodate the growth of its digital asset custody arm, giving Asia its first homegrown, independent crypto custodian.

Vincent Chok, the CEO of Legacy Trust, (pictured above) made the announcement in a press conference on the sidelines of Coin Desk‘s Invest : Asia 2019 conference in Singapore today (September 11). Chok, who will serve at the director and the CEO of the new firm, said the transfer of the digital assets will begin slowly.

The new venture, he said, will allow Legacy Trust, which has nearly 20,000 members, to focus on its traditional trust and pensions business while giving First Digital Trust the flexibility to innovate in its delivery of digital asset custody.

Early projections indicate First Digital Trust will have US$28bn worth of assets in custody within the next 3 years, cementing its place as an industry-leading player.

“As the industry continues to develop at a rapid pace, we must stay agile to keep abreast of regulatory and asset change,” Chok said. “Legacy Trust has always prided itself on offering a reliable and secure service, and we’re excited to develop this in our new business, First Digital Trust”.

Legacy Trust, founded in 1992, was initially established as a traditional pension and family trustee, and began offering digital asset custody based on a demand borne of the initial coin offering boom.

First Digital Trust will remain linked to Legacy Trust, but at an arm’s length – a relationship that is expected to slowly decline over time, allowing each company to generate meaningful partnerships, and to grow returns for shareholders in a sustainable way.

This means that First Digital will benefit from Legacy’s quarter of a century of custody experience, whilst having the freedom to expand and focus on the novel challenges of securing digital assets.

Gunnar Jaerv, COO at First Digital Trust and Head of Digital Assets at Legacy Trust, said the firm is “bringing an unparalleled level of experience to a space that lacks trust, and intend to set the industry standard for compliant and transparent custodianship of digital assets.”

First Digital Trust is also currently undertaking to raise funds to fuel the growth plans. As per sources close to the development, the company is in talks with venture capital funds to raise almost $15 million in early series round in the coming months.

Legacy recently collaborated with Ledger on an institutional-grade digital asset storage solutions – Ledger Vault – and offers custody to TrustToken’s TrueHKD stablecoin reserves.

The company announced last week that it is launching a digital asset pension plan.

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