Singapore's third-largest bank is hiring a VP for crypto security administration

Quick Take

  • United Overseas Bank, Singapore’s third-largest bank by total assets, is hiring a vice president for crypto security administration.
  • The role “VP — Crypto Security Administrator” appears to be related to cryptography for developing banking security solutions, but it doesn’t rule out a possibility that UOB could be developing in the realm of crypto assets.

United Overseas Bank, Singapore's third-largest bank by total assets, is hiring a vice president for crypto security administration.

The role "VP — Crypto Security Administrator" appears to be related to cryptography for developing banking security solutions, but it doesn't rule out a possibility that UOB could be developing a crypto custody solution. The bank has opened up the position to get expert advice on how to design a secure solution for "managing crypto keys."

The job includes managing the installation of a hardware security module (HSM) — a dedicated hardware device to protect cryptographic keys, setting up a "centralized" key management solution, and maintaining crypto keys, among other responsibilities.

Applicants should have a clear understanding and experience of HSM devices, encryption standards, cryptographic key generation and management, and payment network standards, including tokenization, per the job requirements.

"It's quite possible that UOB is working on a crypto custody solution. The likelihood is that all major banks are looking into this type of offering in some way. But this position may not be related to digital assets," Hagen Rooke, fintech counsel at Singapore-based law firm Reed Smith, told The Block. "It seems to be related to the use of cryptography for the purposes of developing security solutions in a banking context. This also involves developing 'tokens,' i.e., encoded representations of confidential information."

UOB declined to comment to The Block when asked whether the bank’s job application relates to cryptocurrency or if it is developing a crypto custody solution.

Rival plans 

The job comes as UOB rival DBS, Singapore's biggest bank, is preparing to launch its own crypto exchange and crypto custody solution. DBS's plans were leaked last month via a now-deleted webpage, which The Block first reported at the time.

A DBS spokesperson said at the time that the bank's crypto efforts are still work in process, and it is awaiting regulatory approvals. UOB might have to go through similar approval processes if it ever decides to enter the crypto space.

A number of established financial institutions and banks have been looking into offering crypto custody services, including JPMorgan, Citi, and Standard Chartered. JPMorgan could offer crypto custody services via a "sub-custodian" or a third-party specialist firm, sources familiar with the situation recently told The Block.

Sources at Citi at the time said the bank had conducted internal testing related to digital asset custody. Standard Chartered, on the other hand, is building a crypto custody solution for institutional investors via its Singapore-based venture arm SC Ventures.

CORRECTION (11/30): This piece has been corrected and updated to provide stronger context about the nature of UOB's job posting and the likelihood of a possible crypto-related product. The quick takes and the headline of this piece have been corrected to reflect these changes.

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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