Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.
Abrdn (ABDN), one of the U.K.’s largest asset-management companies, has taken a stake in Archax, the first and only digital securities exchange to be regulated in the U.K.
The company, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, is now the exchange’s largest external shareholder, Archax said Friday. In an email, Abrdn declined to give the size of the stake or say how much it paid.
Asset managers in traditional finance are increasingly looking for ways of tapping into the digital asset industry. Today’s announcement follows soon after the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock (BLK), unveiled a spot bitcoin private trust for U.S. institutional investors fresh from its partnership with crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN).
Archax aims to provide access to blockchain-based digital assets for institutional investors, acting as a bridge to traditional finance. It received registration from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in August 2020, becoming the first exchange to offer digitized securities – tokenized versions of real-world assets – to do so.
“Archax is one of the most promising U.K. players in this next expected high growth area in finance – the use of digital and tokenized securities with same-day settlement. In that sense, the growth of the digital investment market is about much more than cryptocurrencies,” abrdn CEO Stephen Bird said in the statement.
Abrdn, which manages 464 billion British pounds ($564 billion) in assets, said it expects investors to use Archax as a route into investment opportunities in digital securities and connect existing offerings in a new way through tokenization of traditional assets.
Abrdn shares on the London Stock Exchange were up 0.17% at 173.15 pence at time of writing.