Today cryptocurrency custody technology startup Copper announced it has regulatory approval in Switzerland. It has been accepted as a member of the Swiss Financial Services Standard Association (VQF). It’s a self-regulatory organization required by the Swiss regulator FINMA to supervise its intermediary members for compliance with anti-money laundering.
In March, Copper announced State Street, the world’s second largest conventional custodian, had selected its technology to develop a custody solution.
But regulatory approval in Copper’s UK home base has been slow going. It’s on a list of four firms with temporary registration from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA delayed the registration of many crypto-asset firms for a long time but eventually caught up, issuing 18 approvals between October and December 2021 and five since. Most applications were rejected or withdrawn, with a total of 34 firms now authorized.
In May last year, Copper raised a $50 million Series B led by Dawn Capital and Tiger Global. A month later, it secured a $25 million extension round led by Alan Howard, co-founder of Brevan Howard and crypto firm Elwood Technologies. It also entered into a strategic partnership with Elwood.
Including its Series A, Copper has raised a total of $85 million. While that’s a significant amount of funding, it’s much less than some major competitors. Bloomberg reported in November that Copper was exploring a Series C, but there’s been no announcement, and the lack of FCA clearance will matter.
Around the same time as Copper’s Series B, BNY Mellon’s partner Fireblocks raised a $310 million Series D. It followed that up this year with a $400 million Series E, meaning cumulative funds raised surpassed $1 billion. KKR led a $350 million investment in Anchorage Digital in December, bringing its total funding to $487 million.