2021 in Hindsight
Diogo Mónica and Nathan McCauley
Just as a lighthouse serves to warn ships of rocky coasts, in 2021, Anchorage lit a path for the crypto industry as the first federally chartered digital asset bank. As we look back at 2021, one pattern emerges: there’s a bright path ahead and we’re proud to be at the forefront with several milestones marking the past year:
- We expanded our team 175%, and grew our business 800% at a $3 billion+ valuation.
- Anchorage developed new product innovations, including the industry’s first major payments network to settle transactions in USD Coin (USDC) with Visa, and became the first U.S. bank to custody an NFT.
- We built a partnership that launched the first digital asset Alternative Trading System (ATS), served as custodian for the first tokenized S&P funds, and started working with banking cores to enable new crypto products.
- Anchorage received SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 1 attestation reports.
- 2021 was also the year more institutions than ever invested in crypto, setting a record $3 trillion market cap.
As the pandemic persists, we know uncertainty will remain, and that Anchorage must continue to set a regulated, safe course in digital assets. Here are some of our accomplishments over the past year:
Made history with our federal bank charter
In January, we were proud to become the first digital asset bank to receive a federal charter. It is a privilege to pave the way for more institutions to seek rigorous regulatory oversight as we set the highest fiduciary standard in the nation with our charter.
Obtained SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 1 attestation reports
We’re also especially pleased to announce something completely new in this post. Right at the end of December 2021, we received our SOC 1 Type 2 attestation from Ernst & Young. Widely recognized as a marker of excellence in financial services, the SOC 1 Type 2 attestation offers an independent attestation of whether Anchorage controls that support financial reporting are operating effectively during the review period. Additionally, Anchorage obtained a SOC 2 Type 1 attestation around security, availability, and confidentiality around the Anchorage Custodial System.
Expanded our products, partnerships, and teams
2021 was also a celebratory year of business growth in excess of 800% bringing more of the world’s largest institutions to crypto and building bespoke financial services including:
- The industry’s first crypto-native settlement transaction with Visa. In April, Crypto.com successfully sent their first test payments to Visa’s Ethereum address via Anchorage APIs, providing the building blocks for banks, neobanks, and other financial institutions to easily and securely integrate digital asset products into their own offerings.
- Innovative financial products. Anchorage is powering banks and financial services providers with the tools needed to securely and efficiently offer their customers access to new crypto products. Our partnership with Finxact shows how banking cores, the ledger technology used by global banks, can build crypto offerings that are relevant and appealing to their customers.
- New financial instruments built on compliant, secure Anchorage custody. We worked with Prometheum to launch the first digital asset ATS and partnered with Securitize and S&P Global to serve as a custodian for the first tokenized S&P funds.
- The first U.S. bank to custody an NFT. Anchorage facilitated Visa’s first purchase of an NFT, CryptoPunk #7610, which we safely custody. We’re finding new ways to help institutions get involved with NFTs and even sent our own Ugly Sweater NFT to clients for the holidays.
- Dozens of new assets added. Anchorage strives to give clients immediate access to the new and emerging protocols they demand. This year we brought them at-launch access to dYdX, TRIBE, Braintrust, and the Celo Euro.
- Growing our team. We grew headcount 175% to enable these expanded product offerings and entry into new markets while attracting top talent from compliance, traditional finance, and crypto who will be key in our continued growth.
Raised Series C and D funding rounds
Some of the largest names in finance announced their path into crypto this year by investing in Anchorage. In February, we announced our $80 million Series C in a round led by GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, with participation from a16z, Blockchain Capital, Lux, and Indico. And weeks before year’s end, we shared the news of our $350 million Series D led by KKR valuing Anchorage at over $3 billion, with participation from prominent firms including Goldman Sachs, Apollo credit funds, Andreessen Horowitz, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, and Wellington Management. We were pleased to be KKR’s first direct equity investment in a digital asset company, and are privileged to have so many financial powerhouses in our corner.
Leading the pathway forward
At Anchorage, we constantly challenge each other to strive for the best, knowing that we’re blazing a path that others will follow. We’re still at the beginning of building the future of finance, and in the year ahead we expect new precedents to be set in product innovation, regulatory development, and institutional adoption of crypto. We look forward to shining bright in 2022.
This post is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to purchase any securities in Anchor Labs, Inc., or any of its subsidiaries, and should not be relied upon to make any investment decisions. Furthermore, nothing within this announcement is intended to provide tax, legal, or investment advice and its contents should not be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security or digital asset or to engage in any transaction therein.