Barclays is acquiring a stake in Copper, one of the best-known names in the fast-growing cryptocurrency sector, even as the industry continues to be rocked by a string of bankruptcies.
Sky News has learned that the UK-based bank is among the new investors joining Copper’s funding round, which has former chancellor Lord Hammond among its advisers.
City sources said Barclays was due to invest a relatively modest amount of millions of dollars as part of the round.
Fundraising is expected to be completed within a few days.
Copper provides custody, prime brokerage and settlement services to institutional investors investing in crypto-assets.
Founded by Dmitry Tokarov in 2018, the company has attracted investors from well-known names in the global venture capital sector, such as LocalGlobe, Dawn Capital and MMC Ventures.
It was reported earlier this year to be targeting a valuation of at least $3 billion in its latest capital raise, but has since scaled back that amount, reflecting the growing crisis in the broader crypto-asset sector.
A number of the market’s biggest players, including Three Arrows Capital and Celsius, have filed for bankruptcy in recent weeks, undermining confidence in the industry’s once explosive growth.
Copper also became frustrated with the approach of UK financial regulators, prompting it to set up a hub in Switzerland instead.
Barclays and Copper declined to comment.