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Apollo Global Management – one of the world’s largest asset managers, with more than $500 billion under management – is breaking into crypto custody through a partnership with digital asset platform Anchorage Digital.
Anchorage, which is the first federally chartered digital asset bank in the U.S., will custody a “significant portion” of Apollo’s crypto portfolio. In total, Apollo holds over $500 billion in assets under management.
“We were drawn to working with Anchorage given their commitment to operating under strict regulatory oversight, their strong emphasis on security and segregation of client assets, and their ease of use for asset managers to hold digital tokens,” said Apollo COO Adam Eling in a statement on Monday.
Eling added that the company would explore new ways to apply blockchain technology across its business.
The move marks another major entrance into crypto from a national leader in asset management, following BlackRock’s partnership with Coinbase for Bitcoin trading and custody in August. Fidelity, one of the first major financial firms to break into Bitcoin back in 2018, introduced Ethereum trading to institutional clients earlier this month.
Apollo brought on former JPMorgan crypto lead Christine Moy in April to be its Head of Digital Assets. Moy told Decrypt at the SALT conference last month that Apollo is “looking to be a real-world practitioner” of blockchain technology and is also interested in “putting real-world assets on-chain.”
Of course, the partnership also takes place during a major down year for both crypto prices and trading activity, possibly indicating that long-term interest in the asset class is still bubbling under the surface.
“Institutions are taking a long-term approach to crypto,” Anchorage president Diogo Mónica told Decrypt in an email.
While he declined to comment on which digital assets it would custody on Apollo’s behalf, he said he’s confident that Apollo and other institutional partners are “here to stay.”
“Apollo is a leader in the alternatives industry, so their use of Anchorage’s custody platform is incredibly validating,” Mónica added.
Anchorage and Apollo’s relationship started more than a year ago when the latter firm started exploring the best ways to safeguard clients’ crypto holdings.
The asset manager later contributed to Anchorage’s growth by joining its $350 million Series D funding round last December. At the time, Mónica hinted that big banks and corporations had been preparing products for years that would likely hit the market in “mid-to-late 2022.”