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Coinbase Becomes World’s Largest Cryptocurrency Custodian

Coinbase Custody has acquired Xapo’s institutional businesses, making it the largest crypto custodian in the world.

Coinbase initially rolled out its digital asset custody arm last year, and its recent acquisition follows a significant period of growth, according to the exchange.

“This acquisition caps off a tremendous period of growth and innovation for Coinbase Custody. In just over one year since launch, Coinbase Custody has grown to over $7 billion in Assets Under Custody (AUC) stored on behalf of more than 120 clients in 14 different countries, making it the largest, most globally recognized and most trusted institutional custodian in the world.”

Xapo has a team of over 250 members who work across more than 50 countries. The company provides Bitcoin wallet services in addition to cold storage vaults and BTC-based debit cards. The company made headlines last year for publicizing one of its extreme cold storage vaults located at a decommissioned military bunker in the Swiss mountains. Retrieving Bitcoin from the vault takes about two days and security measures include fingerprint scanners that are equipped with a pulse reader that prevents amputated hands from being used. The company was founded by Argentinian entrepreneur Wences Casares in 2013.

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, will continue serving institutional clients including hedge funds, family offices, endowments, and proprietary trading desks.

“In addition to custody, we’re excited to explore new ways to monetize and leverage crypto assets such as staking, borrowing against crypto portfolios and lending crypto to trusted counterparties.”

Fortune reports that Coinbase paid $55 million for Xapo and outbid powerhouse asset manager Fidelity.

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Written by Ravi Gupat

Ravi grew up in India and graduated in Economics. He is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and exited several companies in tech and media over the past 15 years. He is also an early stage investor and advisor in various blockchain-based companies.

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