Crypto-focused federal chartered bank intros settlement network

CoinFund, EDX Clearing and Nonco are among the first users of the offering

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Anchorage Digital and Adobe Stock modified by Blockworks

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A federally chartered bank is now offering settlement of US dollars and crypto assets for buy- and sell-side institutions. 

Crypto-focused Anchorage Digital unveiled its new settlement network, called Atlas, in a Thursday announcement. Atlas has already settled hundreds of millions of dollars in crypto since its “early access launch” earlier this year, the company said.

Atlas users can access counterparties that include clients of Anchorage Digital and its Singapore subsidiary. On-chain settlement ensures the assets are not commingled and don’t leave on-chain addresses until settlement occurs, according to the bank.

“Atlas participants are not reliant on settlement providers’ books,” a spokesperson told Blockworks. “Our regulatory status and security profile represent a major unlock for institutions, with Atlas advancing a new era for safe and secure settlement across the industry.” 

Initial users of the network include venture capital firm CoinFund and the clearinghouse affiliate of institution-focused crypto exchange EDX Markets, as well as crypto brokerage firm Nonco.

CoinFund President Chris Perkins said in a statement that the network mitigates counterparty risk while “cultivating deep, liquid and accessible markets.”

“Atlas offers the greatest level of security, paired with the best speed and efficiency,” EDX Clearing CEO Tony Acuña-Rohter added. “These features allow us to minimize delivery risk for time-sensitive transactions.” 

Anchorage Digital became a bank chartered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in January 2021 — a distinction the company’s executives and users of the bank have highlighted in recent months.

Anchorage meets the Securities and Exchange Commission’s definition of a “qualified custodian,” CEO Nathan McCauley has said — a term included in the regulator’s February 2023 proposal that would “entrust safekeeping of client assets” to such entities. 

Anchorage launched custody and settlement services for registered investment advisers (RIAs) in November and partnered with crypto wealth platform Onramp Invest in January. McCauley noted at the time that the company wants to be a “regulatory solve” for RIAs with mandates to hold crypto assets with a qualified custodian. 

Bitcoin miner Marathon Digital, which held 17,381 BTC as of March 31, added Anchorage as one of its custodians in December. The company’s chief financial officer noted Anchorage’s “well regarded” regulatory status in a statement.

The launch comes after BitGo and Copper partnered in November to expand their off-exchange settlement networks. 

Read more: BitGo wants to be ‘exchange agnostic’ as a qualified custodian

The combination of BitGo’s Go Network and Copper’s ClearLoop was done to de-risk trading market infrastructure after the collapse of FTX and others.

BitGo CEO Mike Belshe said at the time the companies’ partnership allowed them to settle assets “safely and securely without direct exposure to exchanges.”


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