Barclays Joins List of Investors Backing Crypto Custodian Copper: Report – Decrypt

Digital assets firm Copper is reportedly raising fresh funds, with banking giant Barclays among the new backers, according to a Sky News report citing sources from the City of London.

Per the report, Barclays is investing “a relatively modest sum in the millions of dollars” as part of Copper’s latest financing round, which is expected to be finalized “within days.”

Founded by Dmitry Tokarev in 2018, Copper provides custody, prime broking, and settlement services to institutional investors. The firm has also developed a proprietary trading technology, ClearLoop, which connects crypto exchanges and offers offline storage of funds while trades are executed.

The London-based firm secured $75 million in a Series B funding round in June last year, with billionaire investor Alan Howard leading a $25 million extension to the raise.

The firm has also drawn several other big names in the global venture capital sector, including LocalGlobe, Dawn Capital, and MMC Ventures.

Additionally, Copper hired Lord Philip Hammond, who served as U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer under former Prime Minister Theresa May from 2016 to 2019, as its senior advisor.

Last November, the firm was reportedly seeking a $500 million Series C raise that would’ve put its valuation to $3 billion, with Tiger Global, SoftBank Group, and Accel among the participants.

The 2022 bear market, however, made Copper scale that figure back, according to Sky News.

Copper is yet to receive approval from UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which requires digital asset service providers to apply for temporary registration in order to continue operations, however, won regulatory approval in Switzerland in May.

Decrypt has reached out to Copper for comments, but didn’t hear back immediately.

Barclays and crypto

Barclays was the first UK-based private bank to support cryptocurrencies in 2015 when it began accepting Bitcoin for charity donations.

The bank partnered with financial services company Circle in 2016 to launch a social payment app that allowed users to convert pounds into Bitcoin, before launching a new venture arm focusing on areas such as artificial intelligence, distributed ledgers and smart contracts in 2018.

Last year, following the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority’s crackdown on Binance, Barclays, however, told customers it was blocking them from sending their funds to the world’s largest crypto exchange.

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