Crypto custody firm Copper has raised significant capital from one of the UK’s largest banks, Barclays, which is seeking to acquire a stake in the firm, Sky News reported.

Copper is a unicorn valued at roughly $2 billion and advised by former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Hammond.

According to the report, the bank will work alongside a new crop of investors joining Copper’s latest funding round. Barclays is expected to invest a “modest” sum worth a few million dollars as part of the funding round, which is set to close in the coming days.

Copper lowers its $3 billion valuation target

Copper operates as an institutional custody, prime brokerage and settlement company serving the needs of major market entities looking to invest their money in various digital assets. The company launched in 2018 and has since been able to amass investments from top venture capital firms, including LocalGlobe, Dawn Capital and MMC Ventures.

Previous reports suggest that Copper was looking to target a $3B valuation after its last fundraiser. However, the company has had to lower its financial targets due to the ongoing bear market affecting markets across the board.

It is pertinent to note that the company has not yet received a regulatory green light from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The government body currently requires all crypto service providers to acquire a temporary registration to continue their daily operations.

Barclays controversial relationship with cryptocurrencies

Barclays has previously spoken out against the cryptocurrency industry on several occasions, with the lender even preventing customers from transacting with high-profile cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance and Coinbase.

Additionally, Barclays partnered with Circle in 2016 to launch a payment app that allowed users to convert Bitcoin into British Pounds (and vice versa). In 2018, the bank launched a new venture arm with the aim of investigating areas such as distributed ledgers and smart contracts.

Market dynamics remain unstable

Despite the aforementioned news that Barclay is making a sizable investment in copper, the general sentiment surrounding the cryptocurrency market remains quite fragile. For example, the cryptocurrency fear and greed index, a popular metric used to gauge investor attitude toward the market, is still in the “fear” zone.

Over the past month or so, a growing list of major crypto firms, including Three Arrows Capital (3AC), Celsius, Vauld and Zipmex are facing insolvency-related issues, seriously undermining confidence in the industry.

Posted in: Adoption, Associations

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This post UK banking giant Barclays takes a stake in $2 billion crypto unicorn Copper

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