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San Juan Mercantile Bank & Trust granted license for digital asset custodianship

The San Juan Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (SJMX) and the San Juan Mercantile Bank & Trust International Corp. (SJMBT), today announced that SJMBT has received its license to operate from the Puerto Rico Office of the Commission of Financial Institutions (OCIF).

The license authorizes SJMBT to operate as an International Financial Entity (IFE) under the banking regulations of OCIF, subject to the rules of the Bank Secrecy Act, including all applicable Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations.

Speaking on the announcement, Bo Collins, CEO of Mercantile Global Holdings, the parent of both SJMX and SJMBT, said: “This approval is a key milestone for us, establishing an end-to-end solution for institutional customers who seek a familiar, efficient and secure way to trade digital currencies.”

SJMX has created a professional-grade trading environment that provides customers with access to a variety of digital asset liquidity venues. SJMBT will be integrated with all SJMX trading platforms. Customer balances on deposit with SJMBT will, in turn, inform real-time trading limits at SJMX, and SJMBT will settle all trades routed through SJMBT on a real-time basis.

Customer fiat currency and digital assets will be held by regulated correspondent banking partners and approved digital asset custodians. Diversification of assets across multiple custody partners greatly reduces the need for physical movement of digital assets, improves security, reduces cost and results in faster processing.

“Our approval as a regulated bank under OCIF banking regulations was a critical step in our progress to launching our trading and banking platform. We believe the infrastructure we have developed will deliver immediate benefits to our clients by offering a more secure and efficient platform for the trading and settlement of digital assets.”

Nick Varelakis, President and COO of SJMBT

“International Financial Entities like SJMBT are an important part of the developing financial infrastructure in Puerto Rico, designed to support the growing digital asset industry, which is a notable component of the government’s economic development plan. We welcome SJMBT as an innovator in this space. Puerto Rico offers the safety and soundness of U.S. regulated financial institutions, with a strong commitment to flexibility and innovation in the future.”

Manual Laboy, Puerto Rico's Secretary of Economic Development

Also announced, the San Juan Mercantile Exchange, and the San Juan Mercantile Bank & Trust publicized three key strategic partnerships that pave the way for the initial launch of SJMX’s integrated digital assets exchange and banking solution.

These partnerships are with leaders in the financial technology industry, and include:

  • CQG, one of the world’s pre-eminent electronic trading interface providers
  • Elysium Technology Group, an innovator in middle- and back-office software design
  • Mercury Digital Assets, a sophisticated market participant and dark pool provider

Together, these partnerships create a seamless and sophisticated technology backbone to support institutional investors and professional traders seeking to safely and efficiently transact in the digital asset space.

Institutions wishing to trade digital assets today face difficulty accessing deep pools of liquidity and managing their trading and capital in real-time.  SJMX’s partnership with CQG will enable SJMX customers to connect to more than 45 tradable, global exchanges and more than 75 market data sources, and will provide access to CQG’s full suite of trading tools in a familiar, traditional trading environment.  Elysium’s banking software solution allows SJMX and SJMBT to provide real-time limit management and real-time settlement of exchange trading activity.  Mercury Digital Assets’ technology enables the SJMX Dark Pool solution as an alternative for institutional traders who seek to execute large transactions in a secure, trader-friendly environment.

“We are proud to announce our partnership with these innovators in the financial technology space.  Institutional investors and professional traders can soon become customers of SJMBT and participate in an integrated ecosystem. We consider our solution unique, particularly the ability to provide agnostic custody services for fiat and digital assets alike.  Prospective customers have been incredibly enthusiastic.  We look forward to announcing our first trades very soon.”

Robert “Bo” Collins, Jr., CEO of parent company Mercantile Global Holding

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