BitGo Cements Hold on Institutional Market With Lumina Acquisition

BitGo is expanding aggressively out of its core custodial business, announcing Thursday it acquired Lumina to build a tax service.

AccessTimeIconApr 16, 2020 at 7:42 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. UTC
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BitGo is looking to become an all-in-one provider for the institutional crypto market, acquiring tax management platform Lumina in its latest step to expand service offerings.

BitGo announced Thursday that Lumina would become part of its new institutional-grade tax solution that would plug into the wider platform. Known as "BitGo Tax," it records and analyzes taxable events, calculates possible liabilities and compiles reports for clients.

In a statement, CEO Mike Belshe said the acquisition means that in addition to tapping secure storage services, BitGo clients can trade, stake and even lend digital assets, all without leaving the platform.

“Clients have digital asset accounts across many exchanges and wallet providers, and that can lead to a fragmented or incomplete view of their digital asset holdings," he said. "BitGo clients now have a clear, intuitive dashboard with tax and reporting abilities, and these new services transform their ability to interact with digital assets."

BitGo – which doesn't like to be referred to as just a custodian anymore – started targeting the institutional space when it coaxed former banker Richard J. Corcoran out of retirement to head up its custodial business at the end of 2018. It has endeavored to make itself as amenable as possible to institutions by launching a secure off-chain settlement service and partnering with Genesis to offer trades that execute at speeds customary in traditional markets.

This aggressive expansion has borne fruit as BitGo now has a central role in the cryptocurrency market. Belshe claimed back in November that the company processes, on average, as much as 20 percent of bitcoin transactions at any one time.

Back in February it acquired Harbor, a security token platform that held ambitions of becoming a one-stop-shop for tokenized equities. Notably, Harbor was already a regulated broker-dealer and transfer agent, two licenses BitGo lacked.

"BitGo is the first digital asset firm to launch comprehensive services for wallets/custody, institutional lending, portfolio management and tax. BitGo is unlike any company in the institutional market for digital assets as no other company provides these institutional services in all three categories," a spokesperson said in an email to CoinDesk.

Established in 2018 and based in San Francisco, Lumina raised $4 million in a seed round from investors that included DragonFly Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. The BitGo spokesperson declined to comment on how much Lumina was acquired for, as well as if there were to be any other acquisitions in the pipeline.

Lumina CEO Chen Fang, who has now joined BitGo as chief product officer, said in a statement the company planned on bringing new products and services to market in the coming months.


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