Crypto Custodian BitGo Adds AVAX Support as Institutions Eye Avalanche

It means BitGo clients, such as exchanges Bitstamp and Bitbuy, can now offer AVAX to their users.

Dec 16, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 16, 2021 at 3:22 p.m. UTC

Crypto custody firm BitGo will support AVAX, the native token of Avalanche, in the latest sign of institutional interest in the high-speed blockchain.

The news from BitGo comes after Bank of America analysts said Avalanche could be a viable alternative to Ethereum for decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and gaming. It also opens the door for BitGo clients, including exchanges Bitstamp and Bitbuy, to offer AVAX to their users.

BitGo says it currently holds over $64 billion worth of crypto assets, a representative told CoinDesk.

“Not only is BitGo trusted and allows us to provide more access to our native tokens on Avalanche,” John Wu, president of Ava Labs, told CoinDesk in an interview, “but given the enterprise push, and the institutional support of Avalanche, this really is a very powerful company to partner with.”

Deloitte recently announced it would be using Avalanche for its Close As You Go disaster relief platform. Mastercard also tapped Ava Labs for its crypto accelerator program in early December.

For BitGo, the tie-up was attractive given Avalanche’s “explosive growth over the last year,” CEO Mike Belshe said in a statement. Notably, however, it will also allow BitGo clients to offer AVAX to their customers.

Said Belshe: “Institutional investors can now access AVAX within the most secure custody offering on the market and tens of millions of retail users have the potential to gain secure access through the exchanges and platforms powered by our technology.”

Both Bitstamp and Bitbuy plan to list AVAX in early 2022 through BitGo, according to a press release.

Data site DeFi Llama ranks Avalanche fifth in terms of total value locked (TVL), or the dollar value of crypto assets committed to a blockchain’s various applications. Avalanche’s $11.16 billion currently sits right behind Solana’s $11.72 billion.

BitGo was acquired for $1.2 billion by Galaxy Digital earlier this year in a deal that is still being finalized.

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Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.