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BitGo buys portfolio service Lumina in bid to bulk up crypto offerings

April 16, 2020, 12:00 PM UTC

BitGo has long flown below the radar in cryptocurrency circles. Founded in 2011, it has occupied a niche that provides custody services for digital currency, but in the past six months it has sought to be a bigger player.

The latest evidence came on Thursday when BitGo announced it would acquire Lumina, a service used by institutional investors to manage their crypto portfolios and track tax obligations. BitGo did not disclose how much it paid for Lumina, which raised a $4 million seed investment round in late 2018.

The deal will enable BitGo to offer its clients—many of which buy crypto at several different exchanges—a dashboard to manage their different assets. It will also mean the company can provide support for tax and accounting, which could be valuable given the convoluted IRS rules for cryptocurrency.

Lumina CEO Chen Fang will join BitGo as chief product officer.

The Lumina acquisition follows BitGo’s purchase last year of Hedge, a service that facilitates a form of crypto lending known as “staking.” And in March, BitGo bought Harbor, a firm based around so-called security tokens—the concept of using blockchain technology to trade assets like real estate—that failed to find significant traction in the market.

According to BitGo CEO Mike Belshe, the acquisitions are helping BitGo stake out a larger role in the emerging cryptocurrency industry.

“All of this is about moving up financial services stack, and becoming a full-service provider,” said Belshe, who noted that BitGo has also seen an uptick in its recently launched insurance and lending businesses.

BitGo’s clients include institutional investors, including the crypto trading firms Pantera and TrustToken. In an interview with Fortune, Pantera’s trading director, Dennis Chou, said Lumina’s dashboard is increasingly important in helping firms manage disparate crypto assets.

The recent spate of acquisitions by BitGo also suggests the crypto industry could see further consolidation in the coming year—an outcome that Belshe says will likely come to pass.

In the case of BitGo, its trio of recent deals all have ties to PayPal veteran David Sacks, who is an investor in all of the companies—including BitGo—directly or through his venture fund, Craft Ventures.

For Belshe, the recent push to transform BitGo into a full-service crypto firm is a long way from the company’s origins. Belshe started the company because of an absence of reputable firms that were able to safeguard customers’ Bitcoin and, at the outset, ran the custody business from a laptop in his house.

This story has been updated to correct the misspelling of Chen’s name.

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