European bitcoin exchange Bitstamp and French banking giant Crédit Agricole have teamed up to launch a new service aimed to allow bitcoin to be accepted by investment funds.
For its side of the deal, CACEIS, the asset servicing branch of the bank, will provide services covering clearing, depositary and custody of bitcoin bought in through the exchange.
The goal of the partnership is to increase capital inflows to new investment funds by providing an alternative funding method in the form of the digital currency. Fund promoters, working with CACEIS as a transfer agent, can start accepting bitcoin for fund subscriptions as soon as Q2 2017, the firms indicated.
Bitstamp CEO, Nejc Kodrič, sees the partnership as a foothold for bitcoin to be used for mainstream, legitimate investment opportunities,
"Bitstamp's first partnership with a market-leading, asset-servicing bank like CACEIS means bitcoin investments can now be made within fully licensed and regulated framework," he said.
As bitcoin gains traction, it's easy to see why some investors are picking up interest. In jurisdictions with capital controls, using bitcoin circumnavigates regulatory headaches and streamlines cross-border payments.
Joe Saliba, CACEIS deputy chief executive officer, said:
"Fund promoters are constantly seeking new sources of investment capital and by interfacing them with a regulated bitcoin exchange we are supporting their business development objectives. "
Bitstamp has been on forefront of digital currency compliance in Europe. In July of last year, the exchange received the green light from regulators to act as the first fully authorized payment institution in Luxembourg.
Bitcoin investment image via Shutterstock