Cowen Planning to Launch Digital Asset with PolySign
Cowen Digital Asset Investment Company, a subsidiary of Cowen, has announced plans to enable clients to invest in cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
To accomplish this, it led a $53 million Series B funding round with a $25 million investment in institutional digital asset custody company PolySign. PolySign will welcome two Cowen executives to its board of directors.
Blockchain.com, Race Capital, Sandia Holdings, and PilotRock Investments are among the other investors.
“As digital assets evolve as an asset class, institutional investors will need trusted custody and trading strategies that are comparable to their criteria for investing in conventional securities,” said Jeffrey M. Solomon, Cowen’s Chair and CEO.
“By investing in PolySign and working closely with them, Blockchain.com will be able to provide our customers with more mission-critical infrastructure products and services,” said Xen Baynham-Herd, head of asset management at Blockchain.com.
Arthur Britto, the founder and president of PolySign, previously co-founded Ripple, and David Schwartz, the CTO of Ripple, is an adviser.
Polysign’s patented blockchain platform to protect digital assets was created by the two of them together.
The companies say they’ll collaborate on a comprehensive digital asset solution for institutional clients that includes a “broad range” of digital assets.
Polysign’s automated banking technology is being considered for integration into Cowen’s sales and trading network.
The New York State Department of Financial Services recently granted PolySign’s subsidiary Standard Custody a trusted company charter (NYDFS).
“Standard Custody is the first custodian to use third-party transaction verification and develop its platform on a combination of ‘smart’ hardware security modules and novel blockchain technology, resulting in a groundbreaking ‘better than cold storage’ institutional custody solution,” said Standard Custody and PoylSign CEO Jack McDonald when the charter was announced last week.
In the meantime, institutional digital asset custody companies have attracted substantial investment and, in some cases, have been acquired. Galaxy Digital paid $1.2 billion for BitGo last week. PayPal paid about $200 million for Curv in March.
BNY Mellon, the world’s largest global custodian, chose Fireblocks as its technology partner and invested $133 million in its Series C funding round in March.