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Crypto: abrdn makes move into crypto

The asset manager now has the largest stake in the digital assets exchange Archax.

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Pexels/Tima Miroshnichenko

Listed asset manager abrdn has moved into the world of digital assets, becoming the largest sharehold of crypto exchange Archax.

Founded by Graham Rodford and Andrew Flatt in London, Archax targets institutions by providing a digital asset exchange as well as brokerage and custodian services. This allows institutional investors to trade in cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

Archax was the first crypto platform to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a digital securities exchange and custodian and brokerage. It was also the first firm to be listed on the FCA’s Crypto Asset Register as a VASP (Virtual Asset Service Provider).

The investment by abrdn, first reported by the Financial Times, will see the fund manager given a board seat at Archax. 

Speaking to Investment Week about the deal, abrdn CEO Stephen Bird commented said that blockchain technologies are inevitably going to form a big part of the future of financial markets.

“There is the potential to offer greater transparency, greater speed and less trading friction by using these nascent digital technologies. Archax is one of the most promising UK players in this next expected high-growth area in finance - the use of digital and tokenised securities with same-day settlement. In that sense, the growth of the digital investment market is about much more than cryptocurrencies,” he said,

"With Archax, we will have a meaningful footprint in this fast-developing market - which is likely to evolve in a multitude of different ways that are relevant to our core businesses. This investment not only provides an opportunity for substantial financial benefits, it also creates a partnership with some of the leading thinkers in an area that has the potential to play a substantial role in the future of finance," he added.

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