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Legacy Trust’s Crypto Spin-Off Receives $3M to Roll Out Asian Settlement Platform

An Asian digital assets custodian, which is building a crypto settlement layer to offer a local alternative to Silvergate Bank, has announced a new lead investor ahead of its coming launch.

Hong Kong-based First Digital Trust (FDT) announced Monday it had received a $3 million investment from Taiwanese venture studio firm Nogle. The funding will support FDT's offering, including the Rapid Settlement and Clearing Network (RSCN), an institutional-orientated trading platform for the Asia region to launch in May.

"A lot of the funding will be deployed to building out the First Digital Trust tech stack," First Digital COO Gunnar Jaerv said in a statement to CoinDesk. "We are also deploying capital into compliance building for financial services that, not only meet our global clientele requirements, but also worldwide regulatory standards."

FDT started out as the digital asset subsidiary for Legacy Trust, a major Asian trust and custody company, but spun out in September 2018.

When it unveiled plans for the RSCN in February, FDT said its settlement layer would provide an alternative regional solution to the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN), which forces crypto firms to make settlements under tough U.S. regulations by virtue of Silvergate Bank's stateside location. RSCN would also support local currencies alongside the U.S. dollar, according to Jaerv.

Established in 2014, Nogle has supported projects that it believes will help develop the future digital payment landscape. Its portfolio includes payment gateways, digital ID providers and a proprietary cryptocurrency exchange, BTSE.

Nogle founder Jonathan Leong told CoinDesk that they had seen the value in First Digital as both custodian solution and institutional settlement layer. Beyond just funding, Leong said Nogle will assist in tech development and third-party collaborations.

"Based on their current platform, we're looking to build up their settlement layer and put up more formal partnerships," Leong said. "Basically to have more businesses plug into the settlement layer."

Nogle also invested $2.5 million in the first round of Telegram's (now troubled) ICO, which raised a total of $850 million in January 2018.

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