Crypto Facilities deal belies bitcoin bear market

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices may be languishing in the doldrums after a year-long bear market, but there’s healthy interest in the firms running the sector’s growing infrastructure.

Earlier today San Francisco-based Kraken, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, announced that it had agreed to purchase London-based Crypto Facilities Ltd in a nine-figure deal.

Crypto Facilities, which is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, is a trading platform, focused on listed futures in several cryptocurrencies. The firm also calculates bitcoin and ethereum indices and the reference rate used in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) bitcoin futures contract.

“I’m thrilled to welcome the Crypto Facilities team into the Kraken family,” said Kraken CEO Jesse Powell.

“We are excited to introduce eligible clients to these industry leading futures and index products. Over the coming months, our teams will continue to enhance and expand these offerings. We’ve got great stuff in store for traders and institutional clients in 2019.”

Timo Schlaefer, Crypto Facilities CEO and founder, said: “It has been our mission to build the most sophisticated, powerful and user-friendly cryptocurrency trading platform. Teaming up with Kraken allows us to innovate the next generation of products and tremendously boosts the value we are able to provide to our clients.”

The deal positions Kraken as the only provider of both spot and futures trading in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies: Crypto Facilities quotes futures on bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, litecoin and bitcoin cash.

The deal represents a windfall for Crypto Facilities’ owners, which include London-based Playfair Ventures, a London-based early stage venture and seed investor. Playfair has also invested in online payment processor Stripe, among others.

Kraken’s previous acquisitions include bitcoin exchanges Coinsetter, Cavirtex and CleverCoin, the wallet funding service Glidera and the cryptocurrency charting platform Cryptowatch.

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