UPDATED 21:38 EDT / JANUARY 23 2019

BLOCKCHAIN

Cryptocurrency custodian startup Anchorage launches with $17M in funding

Anchorage Hold LLC, a new “crypto native” custodian, today emerged from stealth mode with $17 million in funding to expand operations and develop its platform.

The Series A round was led by Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z and included Khosla Ventures and a number of individual investors.

Based in San Francisco, Anchorage claims to be the first crypto-native digital asset custodian for institutional investors. A custodial service holds clients’ property or money on their behalf, taking responsibility for the safety of the financial products held.

The company claims that its product is engineered to help institutions better safeguard their investments while getting more out of their assets. Among its features, Anchorage’s platform safeguards transaction by allowing them to be verified only via a mix of biometrics, behavioral analysis and human reviewers.

Anchorage was co-founded by Diogo Mónica, who previously worked for Square Inc., and Nathan McCauley, former director of security at Docker Inc.

“Until now, investors have been constrained by the limitations of ‘cold storage’ custody, which is vulnerable to human error (or worse), and holds assets inaccessibly so they are slow to move and can’t be used to capture yield,” the company explained on Medium today. “Enter Anchorage. Engineered first and foremost to solve digital asset security, Anchorage is also designed to extend all the benefits of asset accessibility, including capturing yield from staking and inflation, voting, auditing proof of existence, and fast transactions.”

TechCrunch reported that crypto funds such as Andreessen Horowitz, Paradigm and Electric Capital have already been using Anchorage’s custodial services to protect their crypto assets.

The timing of the launch can be seen as a vote of confidence in the future of cryptocurrencies at a time when they continue to take a beating. Bitcoin’s price has continued to fall this year with seemingly no end in sight for a bear market that started in December 2017.

Not everyone is pessimistic going forward, however. Alistair Milne, chief investment officer at Atlanta Digital Currency Fund, predicted on Jan. 20 that there are better days ahead for bitcoin.

Image: Anchorage

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