European unicorn Bitpanda announces its first-ever acquisition, buying the London-based fintech Trustology. As a result, the leading Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) registered institutional crypto custodian wallet provider will be rebranded as Bitpanda Custody with the clear focus on offering a secure, sophisticated and compliant, institutional-grade crypto custody platform for all customers. Bitpanda Custody will initially take custody of Bitpanda’s own assets across its retail, institutional and whitelabelling businesses which will make Bitpanda Custody one of the largest digital assets custody providers globally.
Eric Demuth, Co-Founder and CEO of Bitpanda, says: “The Trustology team built an exceptional custody technology and we are very excited to welcome them into the Bitpanda den. Everything we do is driven by the belief that blockchain technology and digital assets will profoundly transform the financial ecosystem. With the clear outcome that people around the globe will have the power to own their financial futures. Bitpanda Custody brings us one step closer to building a leading, fully regulated and secure digital investment platform for everyone, new investors and professionals alike. We can now provide retail customers with world-class institutional grade custody security, and institutional clients will benefit from innovative custody solutions in order not to only overcome the challenges they face today, but also thrive in the years to come.”
Bitpanda Custody will be able to perform custodian services in the United Kingdom alongside Bitpanda’s existing licences in the European Union, while significantly expanding the range of services provided to customers and partners. The introduction of Bitpanda Custody is the first step in launching a Prime Brokerage offering under Bitpanda Pro to go alongside the regulated digital asset exchange. Bitpanda Pro will commit to a disruptive fee model aimed at bringing down the cost of custody to zero for customers who actively trade on the exchange and soon to be launched OTC desk.
Joshua Barraclough, Bitpanda Pro CEO, explains: “This is a great step for us as a company and especially for Bitpanda Pro. Bitpanda Custody is part of our strategy to offer a fully comprehensive set of services to our client base and we can now combine an FCA registered, institutional grade custody solution with a leading trade execution venue. Recently, we have invested a lot in upgrading Bitpanda Pro exchange as well as boosting our liquidity partnerships, so that we can compete with the largest exchanges on execution capabilities. Now we are looking to massively increase our footprint and bring lots more clients to our venues. Importantly we are moving away from an asset under custody pricing model and are not penalising our clients growth. We have great plans in the pipeline and are doubling down on bringing new products to market, including building on Trustology’s leading DeFi functionality.“
Alex Batlin, Founder of Trustology,adds: “We are really excited to press the Bitpanda turbo button in its mission to make institutional crypto custody safer, faster and easier. Whether you are a service provider using our scalable, white-labelled high-performance wallet automation platform, a DeFi institutional investor using our bespoke integrations to access DApps or breakout features like DeFi Firewall and transaction decoding, or a token issuer looking to remove barriers to purchase. You’ll get wider cryptoasset and jurisdictional support, higher insurance coverage and SOC 2 certification to go along with a competitor-beating pricing model.”
Bitpanda was founded in 2014 by Eric Demuth, Paul Klanschek and Christian Trummer as a crypto-trading company aiming to modernise investments in the era of digital assets. Since then, the company has grown into a leading European investment platform that gives everyone the freedom and flexibility to invest in what they believe in — commission-free fractional stocks, cryptocurrencies or precious metals — from as little as 1€. After the completed acquisition and rebrand, Bitpanda accounts for 700+ employees spread across ten offices, with its headquarter in Vienna, Austria, and started a large hiring effort with regards to its London office.
Trustology is one of the first FCA registered cryptoasset service providers in the UK. The UK Money Laundering Regulations do not include provisions to allow the FCA to assess a new beneficial owner before a purchase has taken effect and therefore at this stage the FCA cannot confirm that Bitpanda is ‘fit and proper’ as the new beneficial owner of Trustology. Should issues be identified in such an assessment, the FCA can apply to cancel a firm’s UK registration or impose Directions to control its activities.