Deutsche Börse Group said it has agreed to buy a two-thirds stake in Crypto Finance AG for more than US$108.6 million, moving the Germany-based exchange deeper into the cryptocurrency asset class by allowing it to now offer custody and other crypto-related services to institutional and professional clients.
Deutsche Börse said its investment was in the "moderate" three-digit Swiss franc million range. Given that 100 million Swiss francs are currently valued at US$108.6 million, the price has to be at least that much.
The exchange said the deal extends its offering for digital assets by providing a direct entry point for investments, including post-trade services such as custody. Switzerland-based Crypto Finance offers 24/7 trading and brokerage of more than 200 digital assets in combination with in-house custody.
Through connections to a variety digital asset venues worldwide, Crypto Finance bridges the problem of liquidity fragmentation in the market, Deutsche Börse said. Professional and institutional clients can directly invest in digital assets, without having to set-up their own infrastructure and operational frameworks, the exchange said.
Deutsche Börse said its goal is to create a neutral, transparent, and highly scalable digital asset ecosystem under European regulation.
“Digital assets will transform the financial industry," said Thomas Book, executive board member for Trading & Clearing at Deutsche Börse. "There is increasing demand from established financial institutions who are looking to become active in this new asset class and want a trusted partner.”
Grabbing a stake in the Swiss firm is not Deutsche Börse’s first foray into cryptocurrency custody, however, as it was originally a member of the Swiss-based Custodigit consortium alongside Swisscom and digital asset bank Sygnum – but has since left the group.
The Frankfurt Stock Exchange owner has now found another road into custody, with a particular focus on Switzerland as well as Singapore, where Crypto Finance also has a presence.
Crypto Finance founder and CEO Jan Brzezek will continue to run the business.
The transaction is expected to close in Q4 following regulatory approvals.
UPDATED (June 29, 09:33 UTC): Adds background on Deutsche Börse's strategy.
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