(Bloomberg) -- Blockchain.com said it was suspending operations of its asset management arm 11 months after it first launched, marking another casualty of crypto’s prolonged bear market.
The Cayman-headquartered firm launched its first foray into asset management for institutional clients last year, a week after raising a funding round at a $14 billion valuation.
The subsidiary, which was based in London, applied to be struck off the UK companies register on Monday, according to a filing. Blockchain.com Asset Management, also known as BCAM, had yet to file any annual accounts.
“Blockchain.com Asset Management launched in April 2022, shortly before macroeconomic conditions deteriorated rapidly. With crypto winter now approaching the one year mark, we made the business decision to pause operating this institutional product,” a spokesperson said in an email.
The subsidiary was formed in partnership with Altis Partners. BCAM launched with a strategy that tracked the price of Bitcoin versus the dollar, its Chief Strategy Officer Charlie McGarraugh said last year. The asset manager planned to offer “algorithm-based risk-managed exposure” to Bitcoin as well as a product that manages exposure to tokens in decentralized finance, McGarraugh told Bloomberg at the time.
A steady stream of crypto companies have downsized, cut costs or filed for bankruptcy during this sustained period of low customer demand, market shocks and wobbly prices. Crypto businesses including Blockchain.com have collectively shed thousands of jobs since the start of the year.
Blockchain.com said in January it planned to cut around 28% of its workforce, or about 110 employees. It also laid off about 150 staff last year after the collapse of defunct crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, which was a client of the platform.
An effort in October to raise new funding was said to have put Blockchain.com’s valuation at closer to between $3 billion to $4 billion, Bloomberg News reported, a fraction of its former size.
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