Toward Canada's First Bitcoin Qualified Custodian

Bitcoin Apr 22, 2021

Knox is partnering with Olympia Trust Company to produce the first Canadian qualified custodian for Bitcoin. As an existing Canadian trust company, Olympia will license the technology from Knox, taking over operations of the existing battle-hardened infrastructure Knox has deployed in Canada. For Knox, a Bitcoin custody infrastructure provider, this moment in the space represents the ideal partnership. Knox empowers existing financial institutions with the insurable infrastructure that it develops to serve jurisdictions globally. That Knox technology is unlocking institutional custody in Canada, which Knox calls home, is especially meaningful for the company.

Over the last year, a number of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds have listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. While providing Canadian investors new avenues for exposure, funds have come to rest in US entities due to the lack of domestic options. The partnership between Olympia Trust and Knox can bridge this market gap and introduce a qualified custodian for other contexts.

Upon completion of the transaction, Olympia Trust operating Knox infrastructure is anticipated to be the first qualified custodian to hold Bitcoin as a “qualified custodian” under National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions, and Ongoing Registrant Obligations and as a “custodian” under National Instrument 81-102 Investment Funds, and to provide custodial services to Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) regulated investment dealers.


Knox develops a best-of-breed infrastructure for bitcoin safekeeping, with a strong focus on advancing the state of the art of insurance policies available to protect customer funds. In an exclusive licensing agreement, Olympia Trust will be able to offer Bitcoin qualified custody services to Canadian regulated funds, asset managers and publicly-listed vehicles, adding to its existing business lines.

The two companies are natural complements, merging the best security practices and technology using Knox infrastructure with Olympia Trust’s institutional track record to offer a solution lacking in Canada for many years. Canadians will now be able to have assurances that their assets are held securely in a Canadian qualified custodian within Canada, protected by one of the most comprehensive insurance policies covering the risk of theft and loss.

“Being able to offer Bitcoin custody is a natural evolution of our traditional corporate trust services. The appetite for institutional investors to hold Bitcoin continues to grow. By deploying this best-in-class custody solution in partnership with Knox, Olympia will be well positioned to serve the Canadian market.” —Craig Skauge, President & CEO of Olympia Trust Company

“While Canada has led the charge in North America on physically settled Bitcoin products, the Canadian market has struggled with a lack of quality institutional Bitcoin custody options. In Olympia Trust, we saw a storied Canadian institution with decades of experience, who shares our optimism on this opportunity. We are proud to announce our partnership, pairing Olympia's track record and experience with Knox insurable Bitcoin custody infrastructure, producing the safest compliant option for the Canadian market.” — Alex Daskalov, CEO of Knox

About Olympia Trust Company

Olympia Trust Company received it's letters patent on September 6, 1995, authorizing the formation of a trust company to be registered under the Loan and Trust Corporations Act (Alberta). Operations commenced in March of 1996. Olympia Trust is licensed to conduct trust activities in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Olympia Trust acts as a trustee and manages self-administered registered plans. It also provides foreign currency exchange services and other trustee services.

About Knox

Based in Canada, Knox is a Bitcoin infrastructure provider focused on insured bitcoin key management, allowing service providers, investors, and fiduciaries to mitigate the downside risk of theft and loss. Knox is on a mission to facilitate an ethical financialization of Bitcoin with financial services focused on risk management. Knox is backed by top investors including Fidelity Investments Canada ULC (Certain Funds), Initialized Capital, and iNovia Capital.

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