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Anchorage Digital's Assets Under Custody Surge Amid Increased Demand for Safe Crypto Storage

Source: Adobe / MaxSafaniuk

The San Francisco-based crypto bank Anchorage Digital has seen a surge in its business this year, as institutions seek safer ways to store their crypto, Bloomberg has reported.

In the first quarter of 2023, Anchorage Digital’s assets under custody rose 80% compared to the prior quarter, the report said, while noting that the firm became a federally chartered crypto bank as recently as in 2021.

According to Diogo Monica, co-founder and president of Anchorage Digital, the inflows to the firm are in the “billions of dollars,” with institutions now clearly interested in crypto.

“We’re seeing a major shift from retail domination to institutional accumulation. Even though the pie is smaller, the institutionalization of the pie is getting larger,” Monica said.

Anchorage Digital was the first company to be federally chartered as a crypto bank when it in 2021 received approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to act as a custodian for financial institutions who offer crypto to their clients.

The firm is now in talks with the recently launched institutional crypto exchange EDX Markets to provide custody services.

Increased institutional Bitcoin adoption

Meanwhile, the Bloomberg report also said that the entry of traditional finance firms such as BlackRock and others into Bitcoin provides more opportunities for Anchorage Digital’s business.

BlackRock applied to list a spot-based Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) last month, hoping to become among the first to offer an ETF backed by “physical” Bitcoin rather than Bitcoin futures contracts.

The trend of more institutional money moving into Bitcoin and the broader crypto market could also be seen in the latest fund flows data from the European crypto investment and research firm CoinShares.

According to the report, $334 million has moved into crypto investment funds over the two weeks, with $125 million of that seen in the last week alone.

98% of the inflows over the past two weeks went to Bitcoin-backed funds, CoinShares said.

The strong move into crypto – and in particular Bitcoin – represents clear evidence that bullishness has returned to the crypto market, with even traditionally minded investors now appearing to bet that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could finally approve a spot Bitcoin ETF.