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$500 billion asset manager Apollo launches Bitcoin custody for institutional clients

$500 billion asset manager Apollo launches Bitcoin custody for institutional clients

As part of a big drive by one of the world’s top asset managers to offer cryptocurrency to institutional investors, Apollo Global Management Inc., with $515 billion of assets under management, has begun storing crypto on behalf of its clients via a relationship with the digital asset platform Anchorage Digital. 

Interestingly, the decision comes amid a challenging year for the crypto sector, with Bitcoin (BTC), the flagship digital asset, down more than 50% since the beginning of 2022, as investors have grown increasingly concerned about macroeconomic conditions such as rising inflation, interest hikes, and foreign exchange rates, Reuters reported on October 31.

Apollo, which neglected to reveal the sorts of crypto assets it owns, said its partnership with Anchorage dated back to the middle of last year when the business started investigating how to best protect its customers’ crypto holdings. After that, Apollo became involved in Anchorage’s Series D fundraising round, which concluded in December 2021.

Adam Eling, chief operating officer of Apollo’s digital assets team, said: 

“As we explore creative ways to apply blockchain technology across Apollo’s business, we look forward to collaborating with Anchorage for the safekeeping of client assets.” 

Crypto’ is here to stay’

Meanwhile, Diogo Mónica, president of Anchorage Digital, a crypto firm that holds a national trust bank charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, stated: 

“It’s the validation of this incessant drumbeat that [crypto] is here to stay. This is a very long-term horizon process and technology, and for the large institutions, it doesn’t really matter that there is volatility short term.”

Mónica said that conversations are taking place in Anchorage regarding how Anchorage Digital may further extend its engagement with Apollo in the future. 

In April, Christine Moy, a former executive at JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), was hired by Apollo. She will be in charge of digital asset strategy across the company and will play a significant part in the company’s investment decisions pertaining to cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and Web3.

Last week Finbold reported that the majority of institutional investors buy crypto because of its ‘high potential upside,’ with over 40% of the investors interviewed in Fidelity’s study citing the digital assets’ high potential upside.

Finally, a different study delivered similar results, with a Bloomberg MLIV Pulse survey reporting that 56% of professional investors are still keen on venturing into crypto, despite the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) intensifying its legal activities in the space.

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