Barclays Takes Stake in Digital Asset Firm Copper

UK-based banking institution Barclays has reportedly taken a stake in Copper via the cryptocurrency custody company’s recent funding round and has invested substantially even though there’s less enthusiasm for volatile crypto-assets. This, according to an update from Sky News.

Established back in 2018, Copper offers a gateway into the cryptocurrency sector for institutional investors by providing custody, trading, and settlement services for 450 different digital assets and over 45 exchanges.

The firm’s main product is ClearLoop, which is a framework that connects the universe of virtual currency exchanges via a secure trading loop — with real-time settlement across different networks.

Copper, which reportedly has links to former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond – a senior adviser and investor in the firm – had been in talks for several months ahead of its $500 million Series C investment round and had aimed for a $3 billion valuation.

The firm has attracted investors from LocalGlobe, Dawn Capital and MMC Ventures,  according to Sky News.

But the company recently hit a significant challenge/roadblock over the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) policy that required crypto-asset service providers to apply for temporary registration so they can keep trading after establishing operations in crypto-friendly Zug in Switzerland and its working relationship with State Street.

In April of this year, Copper appointed a team of professionals from Bank of America to asisst with establishing a prime brokerage offering.

Michael Roberts is heading the team, bringing the best part of 20 years’ experience to his role, joining from Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he was serving as MD and EMEA head of the banking institution’s prime platform.

Roberts has been joined by ex- BAML directors Adam Groom and Paul Barham, who led relationship management and product development, respectively, for BAML’s prime platform in  EMEA.

Offering their support to the senior team are Ben Carr and Ross Budgen, who bring industry expertise in product development, account management and analytics.

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