Digital Assets Report


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The global pandemic presented a difficult time for everyone but, as a technology company, Copper was able to continue delivering digital asset product to its clients and flourished alongside the digital asset industry in a tough environment. The firm increased its employee numbers nine-fold since the start of this year, reaching about 200 people globally.

The biggest trend Copper has noticed is the increased search for alpha in digital assets within the hedge fund industry. With bonds around the world yielding close to zero, and stock market valuations near all-time highs, hedge funds are looking for better risk/reward investments, and have increasingly turned towards bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Another trend is that many of the larger hedge funds are allocating capital into the digital asset space in a manner very similar to venture capital funds. Instead of VC money dominating the longer-term investment space with respect to a company’s equity and cap table, more hedge funds are participating in the capital raising of crypto companies, especially those building out digital asset infrastructure.
Glenn Barber, Head of Sales at Copper, says: “This change in attitude reflects the fact that digital assets aren’t a short-term fad, but a long-term, sustainable asset class. With the crypto landscape becoming more sophisticated, the demand for Copper’s custody and prime services products has increased exponentially.”

The product 

At the core of Copper’s offering is its multi-award-winning custody solution which leverages Multi-Party Computation (MPC) cryptography. MPC creates three separated key shards, effectively eliminating the risk of key exposure in online transactions. 

However, it is ClearLoop that the firm is perhaps best known for. Barber says: “It is our ClearLoop product that may have the most far-reaching effects, since credit and counterparty risk are virtually eliminated as client assets never leave their custody account while trading on exchange. This is a game-changer for institutions, because they are no longer required to pre-fund their positions with exchanges integrated into ClearLoop and face the threat of hacking/theft from a commingled pool of assets. Institutions can have the peace of mind that their assets are safely stored in custody until real-time settlement is initiated after trading has finished.”

With proof-of-stake projects gaining more traction, Copper has introduced capabilities to enable its clients to earn staking rewards without compromising the security of their assets. Clients are also increasingly eager to interact with decentralised finance (DeFi), so Copper has introduced a product called CopperConnect, a solution that provides a secure gateway to DeFi in which transactions are signed within Copper’s infrastructure in a secure manner. 

Barber believes that digital assets are going to continue at an astonishing pace over the next 12-18 months, and that the growth will come from a number of segments, including new blockchain protocols, wider mainstream adoption of digital currencies, growth in stablecoins and the onslaught of the NFT (non-fungible token) market.

In response, Copper will continue to build out its product offering over the same time frame to keep pace with these new developments and offer institutional investors the same best-in-class solution that they are currently used to at Copper. 

Glenn Barber, Head of Sales,
Glenn Barber is the Head of Sales & Business Development, Americas at – a pioneering digital assets custody and settlement provider. Prior to joining Copper, Barber led sales as a Consultant at FalconX, an institutional digital asset brokerage, and he was also the Chief Institutional Officer at Voyager Digital, a publicly-traded holding company whose subsidiaries operate a crypto-asset platform to trade crypto assets. Barber also has over 25 years’ experience in global capital markets and was a Managing Director in Equities at Deutsche Bank and Barclays. Barber holds a Master’s in International Management and Finance from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BSc in Business Administration and Management.

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