Coinbase, a leading United States-based cryptocurrency exchange is rumoured to be interested in acquiring Xapo, a Hong Kong-based firm providing highly secure bitcoin custodial services to institutional investors via its cold storage vaults, for about $50 million, reports The Block on May 16, 2019.
Coinbase Interested in Xapo
Per sources close to the matter, Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange is on the verge of buying Xapo, the Wences Casares-led bitcoin custodian that also provide wallet services as well as a bitcoin-based debit card for easy spending of cryptos.
Reportedly, anonymous sources have hinted that Coinbase is not alone in the “Xapo chase”, as Fidelity Digital Assets have also shown interest in acquiring the firm, but it seems Coinbase is currently leading the race.
Founded by the multi-trillion dollar asset management firm, Fidelity Investments in 2018, Fidelity Digital Assets Services launched its cryptocurrency custody service earlier in March 2019 and the firm has announced plans to roll out its bitcoin trading service for institutional investors in the coming weeks.
Coinbase, on the other hand, has been offering bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC), ether (ETH) and bitcoin cash (BCH) custodial services to high net worth individuals as well as institutional investors since July 2018.
Coinbase’s interest in adding Xapo to its growing list of acquisitions might be a strong indication that the firm is looking to strengthen Coinbase Custody and offer support for even more digital assets.
The Xapo Advantage
Launched in late 2013 by Wences Casares, a 45-year old Argentine serial entrepreneur, in collaboration with COO Federico Murrone, Xapo is arguably the most secure bitcoin cold storage vault currently in existence.
As reported by BTCManager in May 2018, Xapo helps bitcoin big whales to store billions of dollars worth of the flagship cryptocurrency in its offline vaults located in caves in mountainous regions.
“It’s inside a decommissioned Swiss military bunker dug into a granite mountain. Its precise location is a secret, and access is limited by security measures that would put a Bond villain to shame,” said Joon Wong, one of the very few people that have been allowed to visit the Xapo strong room.
Xapo’s bitcoin vaults are protected by iron gates, reinforced concrete, and satellite-monitored security that works on a 24/7 basis.
If Xapo finally agrees to Coinbase’s terms, the latter will pay roughly $50 million in cash for Xapo, “plus a contingent earn-out for remaining with the company.”
With an estimated $5.5 billion in assets under custody, including the 226,000 BTC of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, Coinbase will definitely have a lot to gain, if the deal pulls through.