Major crypto platform Blockchain.com is closing its London-based crypto asset management arm less than a year after its launch.
The persistent market obstacles, such as price volatility, legal difficulties, regulatory scrutiny, and exposure to failed businesses, have left a marked impression on the crypto industry as a whole, and Blockchain.com is not an exemption.
Blockchain.com Asset Management (BCAM), a crypto asset management platform managed by Altis Partners, was launched in April 2022. However, per a Bloomberg report, citing a filing, BCAM applied to be struck off the UK companies register on Monday and had yet to file any annual accounts.
A spokesperson for the exchange and wallet provider was quoted as saying,
“Blockchain.com Asset Management launched in April 2022, shortly before macroeconomic conditions deteriorated rapidly. With crypto winter now approaching the one year mark, we made the business decision to pause operating this institutional product.”
The asset management arm was a major step for Blockchain.com, coming a week after raising a funding round at a $14 billion valuation, up from $5.2 billion.
Yet, a new funding raise effort last October reportedly put Blockchain.com’s valuation at some $3 billion to $4 billion – far below where it had stood just a year ago.
BCAM tracked the price of BTC versus the dollar and planned to offer “algorithm-based risk-managed exposure” to Bitcoin, as well as a product that manages exposure to tokens in decentralized finance (DeFi), Chief Strategy Officer Charlie McGarraugh told Bloomberg at the time.
But the crypto winter hit and persisted.
In July last year, the digital assets trading firm said it would close its Argentina-based offices and halt expansion plans in several countries.
That same month, Blockchain.com confirmed to Cryptonews.com that it was cutting 25% of its workforce (around 150 people) due to the harsh bear market conditions and the need to absorb financial losses.
Additionally, Blockchain.com CEO Peter Smith said in a letter to shareholders at the time that the now-failed Three Arrows Capital (3AC) “is rapidly becoming insolvent and the default impact is approximately [USD] 270 million worth of cryptocurrency and US dollar loans from Blockchain.com.” The CEO was quoted as saying that the company “remains liquid, solvent and our customers will not be impacted.”
Following the FTX collapse in November, the platform said it “had no exposure to FTX, FTT, or Alameda and said it would “continue to monitor the situation.”
Then in January, per Bloomberg, Blockchain.com said that it planned to cut around 28% of its workforce, or about 110 employees.
Meanwhile, in October, the platform announced the debut of its Blockchain.com Visa Card, with 50,000 waitlist sign-ups already at launch, initially available to US residents.
And on March 1 this year, it launched the Blockchain.com App, consisting of the Blockchain.com account (custodial) and a DeFi wallet (self-custodial).
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