Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini announced Thursday that it has agreed to buy Bitria, a San Francisco-based startup that provides traditional portfolio management tools for use in crypto investments. Bitria’s goal is to provide a platform that traditional asset managers and financial advisors can use to help their clients invest in cryptocurrency.
Gemini said it is looking to integrate Bitria’s single managed account platform and off-the-shelf digital asset management into its original exchange capabilities. The integration is designed to give advisors access to more than 70 different cryptocurrencies through the Gemini exchange, as well as providing them with access to clients’ wallets through a single interface. Other features include portfolio balancing, tax loss collection, data connectivity, and commission collection.
Similar to the acquisition of Coinbase FairX, this acquisition comes at a time when financial advisors are trying to meet the increasing demand for cryptocurrency investments from their clients. While the popularity of cryptocurrencies has risen, traditional financial advisors often have limited access to this ecosystem.
A survey conducted by the Financial Planning Association and the Journal of Financial Planning in June 2021 found that 49% of advisors since the beginning of 2021 have asked clients to ask about cryptocurrencies. According to Dave Abner, Global Head of Business Development at Gemini:
“Many financial advisors will only have access to one or two tokens through closed-end funds and spot ETFs.”
In December 2021, Gemini announced that it would expand into new territories through a partnership with Bancolombia, Colombia’s largest bank. At the time, a Gemini spokesperson said the collaboration would be an “important step towards the strategic expansion of Gemini’s presence in Latin America.”