Hex Trust aims to remove barriers to blockchain technology for financial institutions. It identified a gap in the market for a digital asset custody platform designed to be used at scale, with ease.
Using IBM LinuxONE and IBM Hyper Protect Virtual Servers, Hex Trust created an open platform that securely stores assets and provides access to services offered in the digital asset ecosystem.
Opensaccess to a market worth trillions of dollars for both Hex Safe and its clients
Setsthe Hex Trust offering apart from the competition through security and scalability
Enablesrapid business growth by enabling both on-premises and cloud implementations
Business challenge story
Spearheading a transformation
Change is coming. Digital assets are set to revolutionize financial markets – the only question is when. Breakthroughs in cryptographic, security and distributed ledger techniques are expanding the adoption of blockchain technology beyond payments and small-scale experimentation. Instead, decentralized ledgers can be used to create sovereign currencies, stablecoins, digital securities and other types of tokenized contracts, and more. For those brave enough to lead the way, there could be trillions of dollars of value to unlock.
So what’s holding financial institutions back from widespread adoption? One factor is the lack of digital asset custody solutions that deliver on both accessibility and security, plus the ability to provide these capabilities at enterprise scale. Hex Trust aims to fill this gap in the market.
Rafal Czerniawski, CTO at Hex Trust, explains, “There are many blockchain wallets out there, but few are designed to manage private keys at scale. We wanted to build a platform that was as easy to use as any other banking system, and that also offered bank-grade security and resilience.”
To create its digital asset custody platform, Hex Trust began looking for the right underlying infrastructure. In addition to scale, security and resilience, flexibility was also top of the company’s selection criteria. Czerniawski adds, “It was important to us to find an open platform to support our vision. There are so many fantastic open source tools out there that we didn’t want to lock ourselves into a proprietary technology.”
Hex Safe is born
Hex Trust chose to build its digital asset custody platform, Hex Safe, on IBM LinuxONE leveraging IBM Hyper Protect Virtual Servers. The IBM technology offered the ideal combination of security, performance, stability and openness to help make the company’s vision a reality.
“The combination of IBM LinuxONE and IBM Hyper Protect Virtual Servers gives us the most secure foundations possible,” comments Czerniawski. “IBM CryptoCards are the only HSMs [Hardware Security Modules] that are FIPS 140-2 Level 4 compliant. Since IBM LinuxONE is built on the same technology as IBM Z, we had no doubts about the processing power or reliability. At the same time, choosing IBM LinuxONE allows us to take advantage of a host of open source tools with additional enterprise-grade features – the best of both worlds.”
Following a successful proof of concept (PoC) exercise, Hex Trust kicked off development of Hex Safe in close collaboration with IBM. The Hex Trust and IBM teams hold weekly calls and engage on a dedicated Slack channel to keep track of progress and overcome any issues fast.
Czerniawski says, “We were worried that working with such a big vendor might mean that we got lost in the mix. But we’ve been blown away by IBM – they’re always responsive, and their domain experts truly understand our industry and business priorities. They go above and beyond the expected. Just recently, they delivered custom cryptographic algorithms in just days and at no additional charge.”
Hex Safe enables users to securely store assets and to access services offered in the digital asset ecosystem, focusing on integrating brokers, prime brokers, exchanges, lending and borrowing platforms, staking solutions and other custodians. Hex Trust is working with IBM to launch the solution. Czerniawski adds, “Partnering with IBM lends credibility to the Hex Trust offering, because IBM has such a long and successful history of securing financial transactions.”
Making a big impact
By securely connecting capital and service providers across the digital asset ecosystem, Hex Trust is removing barriers to blockchain technologies for financial institutions. In this way, the company is helping to fast-track the transformation of financial markets.
“We believe that the size of the digital assets market could reach USD 10 trillion by 2023,” says Czerniawski. “With Hex Safe, built on IBM technology, Hex Trust and our clients can play our part in releasing this potential value.”
Working with IBM, Hex Trust is building a unique offering that stands out in the marketplace. By differentiating itself from competitors, the company is ideally positioned to capture market share. Czerniawski adds, “In choosing IBM, we get unmatched security and scalability for our platform, contributing to our competitive advantage.”
Hex Trust recently discovered a new delivery model for its platform in the IBM Cloud™, helping to boost the appeal of its offering even more.
Czerniawski concludes, “We found out that IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Virtual Servers share the same architecture as the on-premises version, allowing us to run and deploy our software in the IBM Cloud. This gives our prospects the option of running a PoC in the IBM Cloud, only deploying IBM LinuxONE on-premises once they’ve seen the transformational benefits for themselves. Or they could choose to run their disaster recovery in the IBM Cloud – it’s yet another great bonus of working with IBM.”
About Hex Trust
Through its Hex Safe digital asset custody platform, Hex Trust enables banks, financial institutions, asset managers, and exchanges to safely, securely, and efficiently operate digital asset businesses. The company is led by financial services experts and veteran banking technologists, and is fully licensed and insured.