(Bloomberg) -- The asset management arm of pensions giant M&G Plc said it had invested $20 million into a UK crypto derivatives trading platform, marking a step forward in returning institutional confidence in digital assets after the collapse of FTX last year.
M&G Investments took the stake as part of a $30 million series B funding round for Global Futures and Options Ltd., also known as GFO-X. The capital was provided by M&G’s Crossover strategy on behalf of its £129 billion Prudential With-Profits Fund, the asset manager said in a statement on Monday.
GFO-X entered into a strategic partnership with London Stock Exchange Group-majority owned LCH SA earlier this year. The partnership will see GFO-X utilize LCH’s new clearing service called DigitalAssetClear to clear Bitcoin index futures and options contracts that trade on its platform.
Both LCH DigitalAssetClear and the partnership with GFO-X were expected to go live by the end of 2023. LCH DigitalAssetClear is still awaiting regulatory approval, an LSEG spokesperson said. A spokesperson for GFO-X added that the company now expects to launch in the first quarter of 2024.
Read more: LSEG Unit to Offer Crypto Clearing in Foray Into Digital Assets
M&G’s investment may be a sign of turning tides for institutional support of cryptoasset infrastructure. The failure of crypto exchange FTX last November forced the traditional asset managers that had backed it, including Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Tiger Global Management and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, to write down stakes worth tens of millions of dollars to zero.
(Updates to include launch timing for DigitalAssetClear in the fourth paragraph. An earlier version of this article was corrected to clarify ownership of DigitalAssetClear and the nature of GFO-X’s joint venture with LCH SA.)
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