A merger that would have made crypto investing easier fails

In January, BitGo, a Silicon Valley bitcoin wallet startup, announced plans to acquire Kingdom Trust, a Kentucky company that has quietly become a leading player in a thriving market serving cryptocurrency funds.

The move would have positioned BitGo to compete with a small but growing pool of players offering custodial service—in essence, storage of crypto assets—to high-net-worth individuals, institutions, and funds. It was designed to merge BitGo’s tech products, which offer a secure way for individuals to store bitcoin and crypto assets, with Kingdom’s custody services, which serve institutions. Having a trust charter, as Kingdom Trust does, would have given the combined entity a leg up on competition from Coinbase, Gemini (an exchange run by the Winklevoss twins), Ledger, ItBit, and Nomura, the Japanese bank which in May announced plans to offer crypto custody.

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