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Fund Admins Gearing Up for Crypto with Libra CEO

Traditional fund administrators are preparing to service crypto-invested funds in anticipation of future activity, according to crypto fintech Libra.

“We’re currently seeing some of the largest fund administrators in the entire world have very, very serious plans about being able to support this asset class over the next year,” Jake Benson, chief executive and founder of the New York-based firm, told Global Investor.

Libra provides middle- and back-office technology and reference data for companies operating in the crypto space, including fund administrators.

Bermuda-based Apex Fund Services is among Libra’s publicly known clients.

The firm claimed its clientele now includes “several” of the top-20 largest fund administrators but did not disclose names.

“Some of the clients that have signed up with us on the fund administration side don’t even have a fund yet that is trading in crypto but they’re signing up because they’re planning to and want to have the capabilities ahead of time,” Benson said.

Benson noted that crypto-only administrators are rare and said he sees mostly traditional fund administrators branching out into the digital asset space.

Apex CEO Peter Hughes said in an August interview his firm was providing fund accounting and shareholder services to up to a dozen crypto-funds.

Dutch custodian Kas Bank told Global Investor later that month it had had discussions with a client on providing net asset value (NAV) calculation for digital assets.

For his part, Benson is bullish that the number of crypto fund administrators will continue to increase.

“That’s easily going to double or triple over the next year,” he concluded.