Crypto lending startup BlockFi is planning to launch its retail products in Europe at the beginning of 2021. The firm's vice president for European and Asian regions, David Olsson, said the project will kick off in the first quarter of 2021.
“They’re large enough markets that it’s worth our while to go in and put the resources to work to get traction there, and there is also the regulatory certainty that they’re more pro-crypto and it’s a stable regulatory environment.”
Experiments in offering retail products have been already undertaken by the company in Italy. Despite being based in London, Olsson and his colleagues show no intent to roll out the products in the UK. This likely links to recent steps undertaken by the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Agency (FCA), regarding a crypto derivatives ban for retail investors. Olsson, however, highlighted the complexity of the retail crypto market in the UK after the ban.
The firm has not given up on the United Kingdom as a retail market. However, the company's initiatives are currently focused on institutional investors. Last February and August, BlockFi raised $80 million over two rounds of funding, respectively, where were headed by investors Valar Venture and Morgan Creek Digital.