Institutional Onboarding Guide to Digital Assets

By Jack Chong and Harry Donnelly


The authors observed that as institutional investors set up their digital assets operations, their knowledge of operational setups from traditional finance did not easily apply to digital assets. The abundance of new solutions in digital assets make vendor discovery and vendor connectivity (i.e., ensuring that all vendors work together smoothly) challenging. This comprehensive onboarding guide seeks to address a knowledge gap. It is a repository of information and best practices distilled from their interviews with over 100 vendors and managers, as well as their independent research. This guide is intended to be most useful for COOs, CISOs, heads of trading, heads of technology and other innovators at the forefront of institutional adoption of digital assets.


Breaking Down the Stack

  • Middle & Back Office
  • Middleware
  • Unit of Account/Medium of Exchange
  • Financial Counterparties
  • Venues

Best Practices of Tech Stack Setup

  • Sample Stack Setup
  • The Institutional Digital Asset Trade Lifecycle
  • 1. A crypto-native fund spot trades on DeFi
  • 2. A TradFi Hedge Fund Crypto Arm trades majors on CeFi
  • 3. A Family Office/Venture Fund liquidates its token positions on CeFi
  • Industry Highlight: An Institutional Real-World Digital Asset Lifecycle

Institutional Onboarding Guide to Digital Assets

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