German stock market operator, Deutsche Börse Group has successfully completed its previously announced acquisition of Crypto Finance AG.
Frankfurt-based Deutsche Boerse agreed to buy a two-thirds stake in in the Zurich start-up for more than US$108.6 million. The deal moves the Germany’s biggest exchange deeper into the cryptocurrency asset class by allowing it to offer custody and other crypto-related services to institutional and professional clients.
The Frankfurt Stock Exchange owner said it invested more than 100 million Swiss francs ($108.68 million) for 66% of the four-year-old firm, without disclosing any other financial terms of the transaction.
For Deutsche Börse, the takeover represents the chance to expand its offering of digital assets with a direct entry point, including post-trade services such as custody. The exchange operator, which has been vocal about building a fully regulated ecosystem for digital assets, said the deal lays the foundation for achieving this goal under European regulation.
Crypto Finance’s founder and CEO Jan Brzezek as well as the current management team will continue to run the business and retain significant personal holdings.
Eric Leupold, Head of Cash Market at Deutsche Börse, states: “Thanks to Crypto Finance’s proven expertise and the technologies they have developed, we can now enable financial institutions and professional investors to enter the digital asset market. This is a step further in our digital asset strategy.”
Jan Brzezek, CEO and co-founder of Crypto Finance explains: “Established financial institutions increasingly want to start investing in digital assets and are looking for a trustworthy partner. With its esteemed reputation and broad expertise in operating financial market infrastructure, Deutsche Börse garners this trust. We are very excited to continue our success story with our colleagues, existing and new clients and partners.”
Crypto Finance complements the pan-European exchange’s existing digital assets initiatives, which include an investment in 360X — a digital asset marketplace for real estate and art — and centrally cleared crypto exchange-traded notes (ETNs).
The Germany-based trading venue said the novel ETN futures contract is physically backed by bitcoin and tracks the BTCetc Bitcoin Exchange Traded Crypto index, which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
There are now three bitcoin ETNs listed on Germany’s Xetra platform. ETC Group was first listed in June 2020, followed by crypto ETP issuer 21Shares and US asset manager VanEck.