• Blockchange CEO said he expects a vast majority of assets will be tokenized in the next five to 10 years
  • Latest alliance builds upon Blockchange’s relationship with Gemini Trust Company

Blockchange has partnered with Equity Trust Company to allow financial advisors and asset managers to bring digital assets to the retirement accounts they serve. 

The San Francisco-based company’s platform, BITRIA, enables asset managers, registered investment advisors (RIAs) and financial advisors to offer 40 different digital assets to their clients as another form of professionally managed investments. Equity Trust is one of the largest alternative asset custody providers for retirement accounts.

The latest partnership builds upon Blockchange’s relationship with Gemini Trust Company, which facilitates custody of digital assets for its platform users, as Equity Trust will allow Blockchange customers account custody services for digital assets in tax-advantaged IRAs.

“IRAs comprise a large portion of RIAs’ AUM, so the Equity Trust integration with Blockchange paves the way for more investors to enjoy the benefits of the crypto marketplace,” Dave Abner, Gemini’s global head of business development, said in a statement.

Blockchange CEO Dan Eyre said that one thing traditional finance does well is customer service, an attribute he noted is currently lacking in the digital assets space.

“When you look at how the market is evolving, there hasn’t been a lot of interest yet in advisors, fiduciaries, asset managers … because they’re almost the highest regulated industry out of all of them,” he told Blockworks in an interview. “When they go into an endeavor like this … they’re expecting certain things to be in place, and if those things aren’t in place it feels very risky for the organization.”

The alliance with Equity Trust allows for transfers to happen in less than a week compared to wait times to get invested of 30 to 45 days with other IRA custodians in the space, Eyre said.

Equity Trust’s integration with BITRIA provides IRA holders with incoming funds transfers through Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS) in less than a week. This compares to wait times of 30 to 45 days with other IRA custodians in the space, Eyre said, adding that moving as fast as possible is critical in a volatile asset class.

Dan Eyre, Blockchange
Dan Eyre, CEO, Blockchange

“As the demand for cryptocurrency and other digital assets continues to surge, it’s advantageous for advisors to be prepared with a solution for clients who want to diversify into this asset class,” Equity Trust CEO George Sullivan said in a statement.

Matthew Hougan, chief investment officer of Bitwise Asset Management, previously told Blockworks that the financial advisor and RIA market is the next big market to move into crypto, but that they require a lot of education and support to navigate the asset class. He noted at the time that he believes the crypto industry has been a bit overfocused on the institutional market.

Eyre said he believes that a vast majority of assets will be tokenized in the next five to 10 years, and advisors will need the tools to access those tokenized assets in a compliant and packaged way.

“We want to create that layer that advisors use to engage with the tokenized economy,” he added. “We have all of those in place today for crypto and digital assets as we know them now, but that’s just the tip of the spear for the coming wave of tokenized assets that we see advisors and their clients having great demand for.”

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  • Ben Strack is a Denver-based reporter covering macro and crypto-native funds, financial advisors, structured products, and the integration of digital assets and decentralized finance (DeFi) into traditional finance. Prior to joining Blockworks, he covered the asset management industry for Fund Intelligence and was a reporter and editor for various local newspapers on Long Island. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism. Contact Ben via email at [email protected]