Crypto Custody Firm Anchorage Digital to Be Preferred Custodian for Layer 1 Blockchain Aptos Labs

Cryptocurrency custody firm Anchorage Digital is set to become Aptos Labs’ preferred institutional custodian at their mainnet launch, the firm announced Tuesday. Anchorage, the first federally chartered crypto bank in the U.S., will support the layer 1 blockchain by allowing institutions to build on Aptos, including via non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi) and social media, as well as other Web3 projects.

Aptos Labs is a layer 1 blockchain made up of former employees from Facebook’s parent company, Meta, and that raised $150 million in a Series A funding round in July. Last week, Aptos also shared that cross-chain bridge Wormhole would be launching on Aptos once the blockchain goes live.

Aptos’ mainnet launch is scheduled for later this year, but no official date has been set yet.

Despite the crypto bear market, large institutions continue to expand their services in the industry. Anchorage co-founder and president Diogo Monica told CoinDesk that “on Anchorage’s side, we always continue expanding our services.”

The partnership also signals another collaboration of major players in the crypto industry, which could bring in more institutional adoption of digital assets. The teams have worked together previously, as Monica and other members of Anchorage Digital were early members of the Technical Steering Committee of Diem, Aptos’ former stablecoin project under Meta. “By partnering with Aptos, we’re actually helping make sure that the next generation of layer 1 blockchains are taking these proper [security] considerations and that will only spur future growth in the industry,” said Monica.

Mo Shaik, the co-founder and CEO of Aptos, said in a statement to CoinDesk that “Anchorage has been our partner since Day Zero, helping us make the technical and security considerations to make our launch a strong start and prioritize future growth with user experience as a core focus.”

Monica believes that during this period of market volatility, consumers have been looking for layer 1 blockchains that offer Aptos’ security. The blockchain project will be using Move for its smart contract programming language, which is purposefully built with “proofs.”

By using Move, users can inspect and look at the code, and run it through proofs that show the objectives of the smart contract.

Bear market is not hindering institutional growth

As institutional adoption continues to grow, it is apparent that services for cryptocurrencies continue to have a demand. Monica noticed an increased demand for institutional adoption of crypto investments, too: “We're led by the market; when institutional investors want to invest in something, we obviously are interested in supporting it,” said Monica.

In addition to the Aptos partnership, Anchorage announced earlier this month that it would begin to offer a Japanese Yen stablecoin, adding to its U.S. digital dollar and digital euro offerings.