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Copper Crypto Custody Cuts Product, People and Partners in ‘Strategic Realignment’

Digital asset custody provider Copper has shelved its enterprise business, made staffing cuts, and ended its licensing agreement with global custody bank State Street in a move to streamline the company and focus on core product ClearLoop.

Copper Custody state street

London-based provider of digital asset custody for institutional clients has had a major shake up this week, in what it described as a ‘strategic realignment’.

It was initially reported on Thursday that the firm had closed its enterprise business, which connected banks and hedge funds to digital assets, to focus solely on custody and prime services solutions. This was later confirmed in a statement from Copper, citing the current challenging conditions in the space and an uncertain US regulatory environment.

As a result of the move, Copper announced that there would be redundancies at the firm, but there was no indication given as to the scale of these.

The realignment allows the company to focus on its core business, namely the ClearLoop off-exchange trading and settlement network. This has continued to experience significant growth despite current market conditions, and seen increases in trading volumes and client onboarding, with new exchanges also recently joining the network.

Off-exchange settlement is a mechanism that allows to trade digital assets without removing them from the safe cold storage. The settlement is done off-chain while using the assets in the cold storage as collateral. Exchanges use this to quickly gain access to the required liquidity. The service is gaining popularity also with institutional investors who are concerned about the safety of exchanges after FTX collapse. ClearLoop is one of the largest off-exchange settlement networks, extending the utility of Copper Custody services. Among ClearLoop's clients are Bitfinex, and Binance has recently introduced its own off-exchange settlments platform – Binance Mirror.

Copper CEO, Dmitry Tokarev, thanked the hard work of the team and promised support to those affected. He further emphasized the company's strategic focus:

“now marks the time to re-evaluate our business strategy and redouble our efforts on further growing the areas where we can build maximum success to transform existing financial infrastructure.”

The first notable fall out from the change in focus seems to be Copper’s licensing agreement with global custody bank State Street. Seen as a major coup for Copper when the partnership was made, State Street announced that its working arrangement was ending by mutual consent.

A spokesman told CoinDesk, “State Street and Copper have mutually decided to end their licensing agreement and both companies will continue to build on their digital strategies within their own respective product development approaches.”

State Street stressed that it will continue to develop a platform for both native tokens and tokenized securities, again giving mention to the evolving regulatory environment, and requirements for servicing digital assets.

Copper has yet to publicly comment on this development, although it appears that the end of the partnership was an inevitable result of the enterprise infrastructure side of the business closing.

Future developments shall continue to be Observed.