California-based crypto startup to open central Indiana office

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Anchorage Digital, a fast-growing cryptocurrency startup based in San Francisco, plans to establish an office in central Indiana that will employ at least 15 people by the end of this year, the company announced Tuesday.

Anchorage was founded in 2017 and in January 2021 became the first cryptocurrency company to receive a federal bank charter.

The company offers custodial services to banks and institutional investors such as hedge funds, venture-capital funds, pensions, endowments and labor unions whose holdings include cryptocurrencies.

“Think of us as a place to hold your blockchain or cryptocurrency investments,” said Anchorage cofounder and CEO Nathan McCauley.

McCauley, a native Hoosier who grew up in Wayne County and graduated from Taylor University, said Anchorage now has five employees based in Indiana. The company has nearly 200 employees in the U.S.—mostly in San Francisco and New York City—plus international employees in Portugal and Singapore.

Holding a federal bank charter means that Anchorage must adhere to stringent compliance standards, McCauley said, which makes it easier to do business with the highly regulated banking industry. “Over time, I do think every bank will become a crypto bank—and we’re going to become an enabler of that movement.”

The company is in growth mode and has to date raised $487 million from investors, most recently a $350 million Series D round that closed last month and values the company at more than $3 billion.

That funding will allow Anchorage to hire more employees, McCauley said, and the company is opening an office here because it sees central Indiana as a good place from which to recruit. “I have a lot of familiarity with Indiana. I know there’s a lot of great universities and great talent.”

Based on the academic specialties of those universities, McCauley said the central Indiana office will likely be focused on engineering, accounting, operations and compliance.

Anchorage is still scouting for an office location, but McCauley said it will likely be somewhere in Indianapolis or the surrounding suburbs. The timing of an office opening will depend on when the pandemic subsides.

McCauley said Anchorage hopes to hire 10 more Indiana-based employees by the end of this year, with additional growth after that.

Based on those hiring plans, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered Anchorage up to $350,000 in conditional tax credits. Anchorage can claim the tax credits only after it creates Indiana jobs. The city of Indianapolis is also supporting the project in partnership with its economic development organization, Develop Indy.

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