Legacy Trust to Launch Independent Crypto Custody Business

According to a Wednesday press release, this will allow Legacy Trust “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.”

Trust and custody services provider Legacy Trust is spinning out a new business focused entirely on institutional-grade cryptocurrency custody solutions.

Called First Digital Trust, the company will serve to grow Legacy Trust’s existing digital asset custody arm as a separate entity with its own unique partnerships and shareholders.

Speaking the broader goals of First Digital Trust, COO of the company Gunnar Jaerv, who also heads Legacy Trust’s digital asset division, said:

“Legacy Trust was the perfect incubator to develop the digital asset business we are now spinning out into First Digital Trust. We are 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.”

Already, Legacy Trust has a proven track record of offering clients institutional custody solutions for bitcoin and ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens. Earlier this month, it also announced offerings for cryptocurrency-based pension plans for participating firms and the self-employed.

All of Legacy Trust’s existing cryptocurrency custody solutions will be transferred to First Digital Trust, which is currently going through licensing with the Hong Kong government. Newly instated director and CEO of First Digital and CEO of Legacy Trust Vincent Chok estimated the company would be fully compliant and licensed under Hong Kong regulation by late November or December.

Speaking to the early plans for the new entity, Chok said First Digital Trust will offer clients not only cryptocurrency custodian solutions, but services to convert and divest holdings of cryptocurrency into other asset classes.

He said:

“Our theme is going beyond custody. If a client deposits bitcoins … we can convert that bitcoin into other assets classes. For example, first to fiat. Then, we can purchase real estate for you under your trust account. We can purchase stocks. You can maneuver into very different asset classes starting with cryptocurrencies.”

As such, Legacy Trust envisions the accumulation of $28 billion-worth of digital assets in the custody of First Digital Trust within the first three years of its launch.

In order to fuel these growth plans, First Digital Trust is looking at raising $15 million from venture capital funds over the coming months.

“As the industry continues to develop at a rapid pace, we must stay agile to keep abreast of regulatory and asset change,” said Chok. “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.”

Overstock Appoints New CEO, Remains Committed to Blockchain Business

Online retail giant Overstock has announced that Jonathan Johnson – who’s led the firm in a temporary role since the shock departure of its previous chief executive Patrick Byrne – is now its permanent CEO.

In an announcement emailed to CoinDesk Monday, the company said Johnson had been appointed by its board, having served as interim CEO since Aug. 22. That’s notably when Byrne stepped down as CEO and member of the Overstock board after admitting to a three-year relationship with Maria Butina, a Russian agent currently serving 18 months in prison.

Johnson, who also heads Overstock’s blockchain accelerator Medici Ventures, said at the time that he was “confident that Overstock’s future – both in retail and blockchain – is bright.”

In today’s announcement, he echoed the sentiment, saying:

“Overstock has two unique businesses. I have run both, and I know how to unlock the value in each. I’m confident we can rapidly return our retail business to profitable growth. Our transformative blockchain businesses continue to lead their respective industries by getting real products into production.”

In retail guidance provided along with the news, Overstock set out a number of market factors that it expects to affect profitability, but added: “In spite of these recent headwinds, we’re confident in our retail strategy.”

The company has had a turbulent two months for internal reasons too. Before leaving the company, Byrne had apparently attempted to stymie short sellers he believed were targeting the firm by controversially opting to issue Overstock’s next investor dividend through a digital asset on the firm’s subsidiary exchange tZERO. It was to have blocked investors from trading the asset for six months and restricted the activity to a single platform.

However, Overstock last week sought to soften its stance by restructuring the dividend to make it freely tradeable at issuance.

A day later, typically outspoken Byrne dumped his 13 percent stake in the company, which he founded 20 years ago, to buy cryptocurrency and precious metals, saying it was an effort to fight his “Deep State” enemies at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In today’s announcement, Overstock added that it’s also appointed former principal financial officer Robert Hughes as acting chief financial officer after the resignation of Greg Iverson from the role last week.


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