Edinburgh-based investment giant Abrdn confirmed it has concluded a deal to become the largest external shareholder in Archax, the UK’s first regulated digital securities exchange.
Abrdn said Archax has been set up to provide access for institutional investors to blockchain-based digital assets “acting as a bridge to traditional capital markets.”
Abrdn said: “Established four years ago, Archax is the first and only digital securities exchange that has won approval from the FCA with permissions covering trading, custody and brokerage.
“The exchange will launch later this year.”
Abrdn added: “Working with Archax, Abrdn aims to use the venue as a route through which investors can access new investment opportunities through digital securities, connect to existing offerings in a new way through tokenisation and facilitate a shift towards greater operating efficiencies through the adoption of new technologies like blockchain.”
Abrdn CEO Stephen Bird said: “Blockchain technologies are inevitably going to form a big part of the future of financial markets.
“There is the potential to offer greater transparency, greater speed and less trading friction by using these nascent digital technologies.
“Archax is one of the most promising UK 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.
“With Archax, we will have a meaningful footprint in this fast-developing market – which is likely to evolve in a multitude of different ways that are relevant to our core businesses.
“This investment not only provides an opportunity for substantial financial benefits, it also creates a partnership with some of the leading thinkers in an area that has the potential to play a substantial role in the future of finance.”
Archax CEO Graham Rodford commented: “It is extremely exciting to have Abrdn as a strategic investor in our business.
“We see this as a massive statement of belief in what we have built at Archax, as well as being a key milestone in our evolution and for the digital/tokenised world as a whole.
“We look forward to working with Abrdn closely to provide a new universe of users with access to our services, as well as creating new innovative tokenised products that will trade on our marketplace.”
Russell Barlow, global head of alternatives at Abrdn, said: “Our view is that the next disruptive event will be the transfer from electronic trading to digital exchanges and trading through digital securities.
“Being there at the beginning is going to put us in a really strong position.”