Coinbase May Soon Buy Xapo’s $5.5 Billion Bitcoin Custody Business

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by Natallia Maksimenko · 3 min read
Coinbase May Soon Buy Xapo’s $5.5 Billion Bitcoin Custody Business
Photo: Xapo / Instagram

Coinbase is in advanced talks to buy custody provider Xapo. The deal will cost around $50 million for the US major cryptocurrency exchange. However, the decision hasn’t been made yet.

Coinbase, major cryptocurrency exchange in the USA, is currently negotiating to acquire crypto custody firm Xapo for about $50 million in a bid to boost their custody business.

The Block reports, Coinbase has a strong competitor in the face of Fidelity’s crypto wing – Fidelity Digital Assets. The companies “have been locked in a neck-and-neck race” for a few weeks, but Coinbase got the upper hand. If nothing unexpected occurs and the talks go like planned, San Francisco-based company is going to pay generous $50 million and some earn-out for remaining with the company.

Just for a reminder, launched ‘Coinbase Custody’ almost a year ago as a solution for safe and secure storage of the digital assets. As we reported yesterday, Brian Armstrong revealed that Coinbase Custody now manages $1 billion in crypto assets. During Consensus 2019 conference, Coinbase CEO said:

“We launched our custody 12 months ago, we’ve just crossed $1 billion AUM or institutions, 70 institutions have signed up, adding about $150 million AUM a month, so, to a large degree that has been a success.”

If the deal ends by signing the acquisition, Coinbase will get the addition of 700,000 Bitcoin – quite a powerful stimulus for the company, isn’t it?

Earlier this week Coinbase also announced an expansion of USD Coin (USDC) to customers in 85 countries globally. Moreover, the company also launched crypto-to-crypto trading services in 50 new countries. As a result, Coinbase has its presence in 103 jurisdictions as of now.

Xapo and Its $5.5 billion AUC

Xapo, founded in 2014, provides BTC wallet and a cold storage vault. The company declares that it holds $10 billion in crypto assets for its more than 1.5 million customers around the world. As some rumors say, Xapo obtains $5.5 billion of assets under custody (AUC) that reflects around 700,000 Bitcoin under custody.

A Hong Kong-based company is backed by top Silicon Valley VC firms such as Greylock Partners, Index Ventures as well as crypto investment firms Digital Currency Group, Winklevoss Capital and Blockchain Capital.

The main feature of Xapo is that its customers’ funds are stored in encrypted offline servers that are never connected to the Internet. As Xapo claims:

“Xapo’s secure Vaults are housed in high-security installations, including deep within a decommissioned Swiss military bunker that offers uniquely robust protection against physical theft. Xapo’s redundant, global network of storage Vaults ensures that no single security breach would ever compromise your account. A satellite-based “x-ray” of our terrestrial network helps Xapo continually monitor and validate system-wide security.”

In conclusion, Coinbase continues to expand its borders. It has already acquired 14 companies including Ethereum startup service Paradex, and crypto social network and two-sided marketplace In March 2019, Coinbase widened its acquisition list buying out blockchain intelligence platform Neutrino provoking harsh criticism within crypto community due to Neutrino’s ties with Hacking Team implicated in several serious crimes.

Be it as it may, Coinbase is certainly looking for new growth opportunities, and understands, that one of the most popular ways to expand is an acquisition. If the negotiations with Xapo finish successfully, Coinbase will get yet another name in its ever-growing buying list.

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