By Hannah Lang
(Reuters) – Apollo Global Management (NYSE:) Inc has begun holding cryptocurrency on behalf of its clients through a partnership with digital asset platform Anchorage Digital, in a major push by one of the world’s largest asset managers to bring crypto to institutional investors.
The move comes despite a rocky year for the crypto market, with bitcoin, the world’s largest digital asset, down more than 50% since the start of 2022, as investors have appeared jittery about decades-high inflation across the globe.
“It’s the validation of this incessant drumbeat that [crypto] is here to stay,” said Diogo Mónica, president of Anchorage Digital, a crypto firm that holds a national trust bank charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. “This is a very long-term horizon process and technology and that for the large institutions, it doesn’t really matter that there is volatility short term.”
Apollo, which declined to disclose what types of crypto assets it holds, said its relationship with Anchorage dates back to the middle of last year, when the firm first began exploring how best to safeguard its clients’ crypto assets. Apollo later participated in Anchorage’s Series D funding round, which was finalized in December 2021.
“As we explore creative ways to apply blockchain technology across Apollo’s business, we look forward to collaborating with Anchorage for the safekeeping of client assets,” said Adam Eling, chief operating officer of Apollo’s digital assets team.
Mónica said Anchorage is also engaged with discussions about how to potentially further expand its relationship with Apollo in the future.
In April, Apollo hired former JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:) executive Christine Moy, who will lead digital asset strategy across the business, and play a key role in its investment decisions in crypto, blockchain and Web3, a decentralized version of the internet.