Banking giant Barclays buys a stake in cryptocurrency firm Copper

Banking giant Barclays buys a stake in cryptocurrency firm Copper - barclays mortgagesBarclays, one of the UK's largest banks, has joined a funding round for Copper and is expected to invest millions of dollars in the cryptocurrency firm which counts former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Philip Hammond among its advisors.

Copper, which provides custody, primary brokerage and settlement services to institutional investors investing in cryptocurrencies, aims to close its funding round within days.

Nine month delay

Although the recent cryptocurrency crash wiped out more than $ 2.000 trillion in value from the market and wiped out nearly $ 40 billion in investor capital, Copper still managed to attract investment from one of the most established banks in the world.

Multinational banking giant Barclays concluded its lengthy investor talks in the round that had been delayed since November last year, when Copper was grappling with a temporary regulatory registration in the UK.

In particular, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires digital asset service providers to apply for temporary registration in accordance with money laundering regulations. This means that all crypto-asset companies must obtain a full registration with the FCA before conducting their business.

However, Copper subsequently chose to be regulated in Switzerland following the deadlock in registering the license with the financial supervisor.

Numerous businesses operate under the temporary registration (TRR) regime, including Blockchain.com and Revolut, and more than 100 in total have applied for registration after the FCA became the UK's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism authority in 2020.

A banking giant

While Barclays has invested an undisclosed sum on the order of "millions of dollars", sources briefed on the matter confirmed last year that the funds could raise Copper's valuation to around $ 3 billion. The sources also added that they do not know if the amount raised will be made public.

Barclays was one of the first traditional banks to endorse cryptocurrencies in 2015, when it began advocating the use of Bitcoin (quotation BTC) as an alternative payment method, allowing charities to accept donations in the digital currency.

However, the bank also has a troubled past with cryptocurrencies, having banned its UK-based clients from transferring funds to Binance, notably by prohibiting them from using a credit or debit card to make payments on the exchange. The ban came shortly after the Financial Conduct Authority confirmed that Binance Markets Limited is no longer authorized to carry out cryptocurrency operations in the country.

Similarly, Barclays has previously severed ties with Coinbase and no longer provides banking services to the cryptocurrency exchange.

Last year, London-based Copper raised $ 50 million in a Series B funding round, led by Dawn Capital and Target Global, which saw the participation of Illuminate Financial Management, LocalGlobe and MMC. Ventures.

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