Algorand Gets Cozy With Crypto Custodian Copper

Algorand is looking beyond Copper’s safe-keeping provisions to explore the custodian’s ClearLoop system of instant asset exchange and settlement.

Jun 30, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:19 p.m. UTC

U.K.-based cryptocurrency custodian Copper has been appointed to provide the safekeeping of assets on the Algrorand blockchain.

Copper, which harnesses a cryptographic key sharding technology called multi-party computation (MPC), will be supporting Algorand’s native token, ALGO, as well as Algorand Standard Assets (ASAs), the tokenized representation of other asset types on the proof-of-stake blockchain. 

Crypto custodians are adept at adding support for new tokens and coins, and Copper is no exception. Meanwhile, Algorand is supported by a range of specialist custodians such as Coinbase Custody and BitGo. 

But the current pairing is a deeper partnership: Algorand is looking beyond Copper’s safe-keeping provisions to explore the custodian’s ClearLoop system of instant asset exchange and settlement, for example.  

“Copper adds a layer of speed that you wouldn’t be able to find outside of their network, and of course this is right up Algorand’s alley of being extremely fast, secure and efficient,” David Markley, Algorand’s director of business solutions, said in an interview.

Founded in 2017 by Turing Award–winning MIT professor Silvio Micali, Algorand now has some 700 organizations building on the blockchain and some serious money behind it, including a $100 million Algorand ecosystem fund launched earlier this month by Arrington Capital.

As well as looking after ALGO tokens, which may include those used for staking on Algorand, Copper will be charged with looking after the 4.5 million ASA assets represented on the chain.

Exotic assets

What can be thought of as the base layer of digital dollar equivalents, Algorand ASAs include a clutch of well-known stablecoins such as USDC and USDT, as well as Canadian dollar, Swiss franc stablecoins and Mexican peso to be added shortly, said Markley. One layer up from stablecoins, things get more exotic, he added. 

“We have tokenized real estate via a handful of firms that have tokenized either home equity or individual homes and represented those on Algorand's blockchain,” he said. “We’ve also got a long list of partnerships with firms like Securitize and Tokensoft and the other security token issuers. And since the beginning of this year, we’ve seen a proliferation of NFTs.”

It’s a plum assignment for London-based Copper, which last month closed a $50 million Series B funding round.  Tyler Kenyon, Copper’s chief marketing officer, said that over the past year the two firms kept bumping into each other at events and sharing their like-minded views.

“A partnership with Algorand felt like a natural choice,” said Kenyon. “Enabling the ASA standard in our custody application means that when those projects are ready we can make an ultra smooth onboarding process for them.”

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