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The new Bitcoin-only trust company will combine expertise from BitGo and Swan Bitcoin to drive adoption with minimal exposure.
California-based crypto custodian BitGo Inc and Bitcoin services firm Swan are working to create a Bitcoin-only trust company. The new firm will offer customers Bitcoin custody without the risk of exposure to the crypto market.
According to an official press release, the new firm will be the first Bitcoin-only trust company. It will combine regulatory compliance expertise, Bitcoin cold storage technology from BitGo, and Swan’s expertise with fraud prevention, onboarding, and AML/KYC requirements, in addition to its Bitcoin knowledge.
Swan and BitGo to Push Bitcoin Adoption
Speaking on the partnership, BitGo CEO Mike Belshe said that the best model for the Bitcoin sector is to separate custody and exchange. Belshe notes that this model has worked well for the US financial industry for more than 100 years. He added:
“Our teams have worked closely together for nearly a year on stronger qualified custody models. Early in 2023, we recognized the opportunity to establish a Bitcoin-only custodian, combining the unique capabilities of each company and supporting the innovators that will be at the forefront of pushing Bitcoin adoption.”
The press release touts attractive figures for both BitGo and Swan, despite the drawn-out Bitcoin bear market. Swan projects a 50% increase in revenue to over $75 million by the end of the year after significant growth already recorded so far in 2023. Last month, BitGo successfully raised $100 million in a Series C funding round, at a $1.75 billion valuation. The custodian said the funds will go to expanding solutions, including its custody and wallet services. BitGo also plans to use the funds to facilitate strategic acquisitions.
Belshe revealed that the funds were provided by new investors but did not mention specifics. However, he noted that the investors were from the Asian and US markets and were not restricted to the crypto sector. Previous BitGo investment rounds saw participation from Galaxy Digital Ventures, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, and DRW Holdings.
Between January and August, BitGo saw a 60% increase in new clients and grew its Assets Under Custody (AUC) by 20%. In addition, the company recorded a 40-fold increase in staked assets and a 200% rise in fiat custody.
In June, BitGo canceled its planned acquisition of rival company Prime Trust only a few days after both parties reached a preliminary agreement. In an announcement posted on Twitter, BitGo did not provide reasons for the cancellation. Also, there were no public details on the deal or its worth. However, there were speculations after the cancellation that it stemmed from a cease and desist order from Nevada state regulators. Supposedly, Nevada’s Financial Institutions Division (FID) said Prime Trust had a customer fund shortage and could not meet all withdrawal requests for the month at the time.
Interestingly, Galaxy Digital Holdings earlier planned to acquire BitGo for $1.2 billion. In 2021, Galaxy Digital confirmed rumors that it had agreed to the purchase. However, Galaxy Digital terminated the acquisition, stating that BitGo was not complying with requirements. BitGo responded with a lawsuit seeking $100 million in compensation.