The rise of crypto custody continues as more institutional investors seek exposure to Bitcoin, Ether and decentralized finance.
Decentralized finance (DeFi) wallet and browser extension MetaMask has partnered with three crypto-focused custodians as part of a broader effort to attract more institutional capital to the digital asset market.
On Tuesday, the company announced new partnerships with BitGo, Qredo and Cactus Custody centered around MetaMask Institutional — a new product offering that gives institutional investors access to the large sums of collateral in the DeFi market.
ConsenSys, the Ethereum developer behind MetaMask, introduced MetaMask Institutional in May. When asked about how MetaMask Institutional works alongside existing product functionalities, a spokesperson told Cointelegraph:
“MetaMask Institutional provides the same functionality and features as MetaMask — i.e. Connectivity to the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) ecosystem spanning 10s of thousands of venues for trading, staking, lending, and borrowing across all EVM-compatible (Ethereum Virtual Machine) chains.”
The biggest difference between MetaMask Institutional and the company’s main browser and wallet extension is how private keys are stored. The spokesperson explained:
“Within MetaMask, keys are stored in the extension (unless a hardware wallet is paired with MetaMask). [MetaMask Institutional] has built an SDK (software development kit) and API (Application Programming Interface) that connects to qualified custodians and custody tech stacks. This offers organizations unrivaled access to DeFi with the most trusted wallet in DeFi along with institution-required storing of private keys.”
The institutional offering also has built-in compliance functionalities that perform Know Your Transaction analysis on DeFi pools.
Decentralized finance has emerged as one of the most promising use cases within blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. At the time of writing, nearly $195 billion in total value has been locked into the DeFi ecosystem. Ethereum-based protocols account for nearly 69% of the total, according to industry data. New research from DappRadar released last week shows that value locked in DeFi has grown 936% over the past year.
Related: No more wrapped Bitcoin? This DeFi platform brings native BTC lending to Ethereum
The growth of DeFi has been captured by the surge in active users on MetaMask and other browser extensions. As Cointelegraph reported, MetaMask surpassed 10 million active users in August, having grown nineteenfold in just over a year.