UK startup Copper begins offering custody for NFTs to meet institutional demand


Crypto custodian Copper has quietly started offering custody solutions for non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

A Copper spokesperson told The Block that it launched the product last week, allowing customers to deposit, store and withdraw their NFTs just as they would cryptocurrencies — supported by the London-based startup’s multi-party computation (MPC) technology. Initially, Copper will support ERC-721 and ERC-1155 tokens, they added.

Alex Ryvkin, Copper’s chief product officer, said the move was driven by demand from institutional clients.

“As this market has rapidly grown, we have seen that an increasing number of our institutional clients are diversifying into NFTs as an asset class and want to house these holdings within their Copper vault,” he said. “With the latest addition of NFTs, clients can streamline management of all their digital assets and store their NFTs as securely as the rest of their assets.”

The NFT space is far less developed and far more retail-dominated than wider crypto markets, but there are tell-tale signs of institutional adoption. In January, market making firm GSR said it planned to begin algorithmically trading NFT collections this year.

The new NFT product comes at a turbulent time for Copper, which has raised more than $80 million from investors including Alan Howard, the hedge fund heavyweight, and is advised by former UK chancellor Philip Hammond.

The company had been pursuing a raise of at least $500 million that would value it in the billions of dollars, but the deal has been slow to close with regulatory issues in the UK reportedly spooking potential investors.  

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May 5, 2022, 3:17PM UTC