BitGo Acquires Security Token Platform Harbor to Expand Its Services
Feb 19, 2020 at 12:00 pm UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
With the Harbor acquisition, BitGo becomes the first firm in the crypto space wherein a single company holds broker-dealer, transfer agent, and qualified custodian licenses.
BitGo, the popular crypto custodian services provider plans to expand its footprint in the crypto market by undertaking new services. As part of its expansion plan, BitGo has acquired a security token platform dubbed Harbor.
This announcement came on Tuesday, February 18, however, the terms of the deal were not disclosed. BitGo CEO Mike Belshe said that this deal will also help the company to establish itself as the first “Full-stack” services provider in the digital securities sector.
Besides, Belshe also added that the acquisition allows BitGo to recreate all parts of the traditional financial system. The acquisition includes all of Harbor’s subsidiaries like a transfer agent supervised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a broker-dealer regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. With this, BitGo’s role will expand into three categories:
Qualified custodian securities on behalf of a client
Broker-dealers trading securities for self and for clients
Transfer-agents who help record all transactions
Belshe said that this is the first acquisition in a crypto industry where a single company holds broker-dealer, transfer agent, and qualified custodian licenses. He further added:
“As we build the market infrastructure for crypto there’s a lot of pieces to put together. At the end of the day the existing market has this huge advantage in having built up its structure over decades and we’re trying to replicate that in a short period of time.”
As of now, Belshe refused to comment anything on BitGo’s assets under management. However, he added that BitGo conducts $15 billion in monthly transactions for all international clients.
Big Change for Harbor
This acquisition is also a turning point for Harbor as it has come a long way. Initially, the company was set up to help other companies issue security tokens. However, it later started focusing majorly on the tokenization of the existing securities. Commenting on this acquisition, Josh Stein, Harbor’s CEO, said:
“One piece that we’ve been missing is custody. We’ve had a partnership with BitGo and so when you’re under the same roof things become possible, you make things more integrated than you could before, we’re exploring that now with BitGo, we’re trying to figure out what exactly the roadmap looks like”.
Now with Harbor under its roof, BitGo is looking to expand its portfolio of security token offering. But Belshe said that owing to regulatory ambiguity they can’t disclose which tokens to include.
“We’re significantly decreasing the barrier to entry by pulling all of these things together. This gives us full capabilities around issuing and trading and transferring of security tokens”, added he.
Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.
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