Sygnum lead partner in Maker half-billion treasury diversification

Sygnum, the world’s first digital asset bank, has been chosen by Maker protocol as lead partner in USD half-billion treasury diversification into traditional assets to boost returns and further strengthen the balance sheet.

  • In first phase, Sygnum is working with BlackRock Switzerland to allocate and invest USD 250m into portfolio of BlackRock iShares ETFs
  • Showcases two-way regulated bridge that services crypto’s growing demand for traditional assets and reverses the USD 33bn annual trend in institutional-to-crypto fund flows
  • Sygnum’s DeFi credentials, banking licence and regulated fiat-digital asset gateway central to enabling deal and securing overwhelming Maker community support

Maker – the financial freedom protocol

Maker is ​​the longest-standing and leading decentralised finance (DeFi) lending protocol, with over USD 7bn in total locked assets, and creator of DAI, a decentralised collateral-backed stablecoin pegged 1-1 to the US dollar. Its mission is to empower individuals and businesses to realise the advantages of digital money, and promotes the benefits of financial freedom, control and decentralisation. Maker uses a novel decentralised governance model to ensure the stability and transparency of the DAI stablecoin, its collateral and the community.

10.5bn of crypto collateral looking for returns

To generate DAI stablecoins, Maker users deposit crypto as collateral with a price volatility buffer. However, as the USD 10.5bn collateral pool includes the non-yield bearing USDC stablecoin, a new strategy was required to earn positive returns and further strengthen the balance sheet. Monetalis, a green-economy finance firm, stepped in to propose to the Maker community a USD half-billion diversification into traditional assets.

In response, Sygnum combined their DeFi, regulated banking and asset management expertise with BlackRock Switzerland’s portfolio analysis capabilities to deliver a solution favoured by 72 percent of the Maker community[1]. As lead partner in the first phase, Sygnum’s crypto-fiat gateway is converting USD 250m of collateral into USD, which will then be diversified into traditional assets via a portfolio of BlackRock’s fixed income iShares ETFs[2].

says “This portfolio diversification tangibly demonstrates the innovation and real-world benefits traditional assets are bringing to the DeFi-enabled finance revolution. This collaboration is another step towards a world where technology is creating new and better financial models.”

Rajiv Sainani, MakerDAO Europe Growth Lead

The deal’s end-to-end solution called for a counterparty with a banking licence who could acquire the ETFs and also provide institutional-grade custody for both crypto and traditional assets. Sygnum’s DeFi credentials, regulated banking experience and two-way crypto-traditional finance bridge were considered critical in securing the Maker community’s overwhelming support.

“Maker’s vote confirmed Sygnum as a “crypto-native” bank, working hand-in-glove with the DeFi community. It is proof that traditional-crypto finance industry investments can flow both ways, and that the future has heritage, especially when shaping next-generation finance”

Martin Burgherr, Sygnum Bank Chief Clients Officer.

Fund flow reversal

In 2021, the crypto industry received USD 33bn[3] of institutional investments, more than all previous years combined. Maker’s diversification into traditional assets represents a reversal of this one-way fund flow trend. It proves that two-way fund flows are not only possible but can be executed quickly by trusted counterparties like Sygnum with maximum transparency – a factor essential for community-governed protocols.

“We’re pleased to work with Sygnum on this innovative solution that demonstrates the versatility of fixed income ETFs[4]. This project illustrates how BlackRock’s portfolio analytics, risk management and asset allocation capabilities can be applied, using the ready tradability of fixed income ETFs, to help investors achieve a wide variety of goals” said Ed Gordon, Head of iShares & Wealth in Switzerland and Co-Head of the EMEA Wealth Leadership Team at BlackRock.


[1] Vote in favor of Sygnum’s proposal:

[2] iShares $ Treasury Bond 0-1 yr UCITS ETF and iShares $ Treasury Bond 1-3 yr UCITS ETF

[3] Galaxy Digital Report

[4] Sygnum-Blackrock Switzerland proposal:


About Sygnum

Sygnum is the world’s first digital asset bank, and a digital asset specialist with global reach. With Sygnum Bank AG’s Swiss banking licence, as well as Sygnum Pte Ltd’s capital markets services (CMS) licence in Singapore, Sygnum empowers professional and institutional clients or qualified investors (e.g., corporates, banks, and other financial institutions) to invest in the digital asset economy with complete trust. Sygnum operates an independently controlled, scalable, and future-proof regulated banking platform. Our interdisciplinary team of banking, investment, and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) experts is shaping the development of a trusted digital asset ecosystem. The company is founded on Swiss and Singapore heritage and operates globally. To learn more about Sygnum, please visit

Media Contact:
Dominic Castley
T: +41 58 508 21 01
E: [email protected]

Sygnum Bank AG
Uetlibergstrasse 134a
8045 Zürich


This document is purely for educational purposes and has been issued by Sygnum Group. It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a marketing communication. It does not constitute an offer or a recommendation to subscribe, purchase, sell or hold any security or financial instrument. It contains the opinions of Sygnum Group, as at the date of issue. These opinions and the information contained herein do not take into account an individual‘s specific circumstances, objectives, or needs. No representation is made that any investment or strategy is suitable or appropriate to individual circumstances or that any investment or strategy constitutes personalized investment advice to any investor. Therefore, you must verify the above and all other information provided in the document or otherwise review it with your external advisors. Some investment products and services, including custody, may be subject to legal restrictions or may not be available worldwide on an unrestricted basis. The information and analysis contained herein are based on sources considered as reliable. Sygnum Group uses its best efforts to ensure the timeliness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness of the information contained in this document. Nevertheless, all information indicated herein may change without notice.

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