Digital asset platform Anchorage Digital today announced that it has expanded into Asia with five institutional partners, including Thailand-based crypto exchange Bitkub and Singapore-based blockchain investment firm FBG. Capital.
Anchorage is valued at more than $3 billion with backers like Andreessen Horowitz and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund. Its push into Asia shows a new direction for the company, with co-founder and chairman Diogo Mónica telling Fortune that he expects Asia to account for up to 25% of Anchorage’s business in the next 18 months, with a focus on Singapore.
“It’s an exciting market as everyone moves away from Hong Kong and coalesces around an incredible regulator in the Monetary Authority of Singapore,” he said.
Founded in 2017, Anchorage found a niche working with large corporations rather than retail customers. As the first and only federally chartered crypto-native bank, Anchorage provides a number of crypto-based services to major institutions – from banks to venture capitalists to sovereign wealth funds – such as custodial, l buying and selling, and generating returns through various financial services. implements.
As traditional financial institutions continue to dabble in crypto, Anchorage offers an attractive service thanks to its regulatory stance, which Mónica says would be harder to achieve now given the current crackdown from US agencies, including the Department of the Treasury, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
“Given the crypto conditions, the tone has changed because the market has changed,” Mónica said. “[Anchorage] demonstrates that audits and monitoring are really important for the space.
Asia is Anchorage’s first big international push. Southeast Asia in particular is a hotspot for crypto development, with three of the top 10 countries in Chainalysis’ recent Global Adoption Index being Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand. With many businesses leaving Hong Kong due to hostility from the Chinese government, Singapore has become a hub.
Despite the country’s rise, recent remarks by the Chief Executive of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ravi Menon, have raised doubts about its future. Several of the most high-profile crypto meltdowns have taken place in Singapore, including hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and algorithmic stablecoin project TerraUSD, with Menon signaling that the government needs to create more consumer protections.
Mónica said that because Anchorage works with businesses and not retail customers, it welcomes increased regulation.
“Compared to the United States, with its infighting between regulators and turf wars, it’s a breath of fresh air to have a regulator [in Singapore],” he said Fortune. “Tone and content wise, it’s still pro-crypto, albeit more focused on consumer protection.”