Deutsche Börse Buys Crypto Firm
Posted by Colin Lambert. Last updated: June 29, 2021
Deutsche Börse has acquired a majority stake in Crypto Finance, a financial group under consolidated FINMA supervision that offers trading, storage, and investment in digital assets to institutional and professional clients.
The purchase sees the exchange group further extend its offering for digital assets by providing a direct entry point for investments, including post-trade services such as custody. Earlier this year Deutsche Börse entered into a joint venture with Commerzbank to form 360X, a fintech dedicated to developing digital asset infrastructure.
With connectivity to a multitude of digital asset venues worldwide, Deutsche Börse says Crypto Finance bridges the problem of liquidity fragmentation in the market. Clients can directly invest in digital assets, without having to set-up their own infrastructure and operational frameworks. They are also able to store digital assets with custody solutions, as well as access tokenisation and blockchain infrastructure services. An asset management unit under FINMA regulation also enables investors access to the digital asset class via an active and rule-based alternative investment fund offering.
As part of Deutsche Börse, Crypto Finance will be able to further scale the business and expand the range of digital asset services, the company says, adding it also intends to make Crypto Finance’s offering easily accessible for participants via its established platforms. The goal is to establish a neutral, transparent, and highly scalable digital asset ecosystem under European regulation.
“Digital assets will transform the financial industry,” says Thomas Book, executive board member for trading and clearing at Deutsche Börse. “There is increasing demand from established financial institutions who are looking to become active in this new asset class and want a trusted partner. The Crypto Finance team is an ideal strategic fit and will help us tremendously on our way to building a trusted and fully regulated digital asset ecosystem for institutional investors in Europe.”
Jan Brzezek, CEO and founder, Crypto Finance, adds, “Since the beginning, our goal was to bridge the old and new worlds. This is why we are excited to team up with a neutral partner like Deutsche Börse, who brings trust, reputation, and expertise in traditional financial market infrastructure. In combination with our proven expertise in crypto assets and the underlying technologies, we can now achieve our goals much faster. Together, we will enable thousands of financial institutions and professional investors in Europe to instantly enter this new asset class in a way they are familiar with.”
Deutsche Börse says its investment, which is in the “moderate three-digit CHF million range” means it will hold a two thirds majority in the 2017 founded fintech. The remaining shares stay with existing investors, including CEO and founder Brzezek, who will continue to lead and manage the business. The parties expect to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2021, following regulatory approvals.