Bank of New York Mellon Invests in Crypto Startup

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Bank of New York Mellon Corp. is investing in a cryptocurrency startup, the latest move by a traditional Wall Street player to embrace digital assets.

The startup, Fireblocks, builds tools for the secure storage and transfer of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. BNY Mellon plans to use Fireblocks’s technology to underpin a new business that the bank unveiled last month, in which it plans to serve as a custodian for digital assets on behalf of institutional investors.

BNY Mellon’s strategic investment in Fireblocks is part of a larger funding round that Fireblocks is set to announce Thursday. The New York-based startup raised $133 million from investors, including hedge-fund firm Coatue Management LLC and venture-capital firms Ribbit Capital and Stripes. BNY Mellon didn’t disclose the size of its investment.

Fireblocks was founded in 2018 by veterans of Israeli military intelligence. The Series C funding round gives the firm a valuation of more than $900 million, a person familiar with the matter said. Fireblocks has raised $179 million to date, including the new round.

Cryptocurrencies have enjoyed a wave of interest this year from mainstream financial firms and corporations. Those include Mastercard Inc., which has said it plans to support some cryptocurrencies on its network, and Tesla Inc., which bought $1.5 billion in bitcoin for its treasury.

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