UK-based multinational banking giant, Barclays, has reportedly taken a stake in Copper, a crypto custody firm that counts former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Philip Hammond among its advisers.
According to a recent report from Sky News, Barclays has invested an undisclosed sum, somewhere "in the millions of dollars" in an ongoing funding round for Copper.
The report noted that the fundraising event is expected to be finalized in the next couple of days.
A Nine-Month Delay
Founded by Dmitry Tokarev in 2018, Copper provides its institutional clients with crypto asset custody, prime broking and settlement services. Earlier last year, Copper raised $50 million during a Series B funding round that was co-led by Dawn Capital and Target Global, at an undisclosed valuation.
Sometime later in October, the company sought to raise $500 million in a Series C funding round to bring it to a $3 billion valuation, but the fundraiser had since been delayed.
The company has, however, scaled back the figure to $2 billion due to the recent market downturn. With the latest development, Barclay's investment in Copper's fresh raise brings the over nine-month-long delay to a conclusion.
Per the report, the fundraising has partly been delayed due to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rule that mandates digital asset service providers to apply for temporary registration to conduct business, in line with money laundering regulations.
Copper had reportedly become frustrated with the FCA's rule and decided to establish a hub in Zug, Switzerland instead.
Institutional Investments Continue Unabated
The past few months have been nothing short of eventful for the digital asset industry, with several coins falling off the edge. The industry has also faced a swathe of bankruptcies from big names like Celsius and Three Arrows Capital (3AC).
These events had increased the fear in the crypto market, undermining investors' confidence in the industry's growth which had previously moved at a breakneck pace.
Despite investors' waning appetite for risk-on assets, Copper managed to secure investment from one of the world's largest banks.
Barclays was one of the first major banks to support crypto back in 2015 when it began encouraging the use of BTC as an alternative payment option for charities to accept donations.
Just last month, Citibank partnered with the Swiss crypto custody provider METACO, to develop a digital asset service for its clients.