Cryptocurrency broker Voyager Digital is expanding into the European market through a merger with the French crypto exchange LGO.
By joining up with LGO, one of the largest institutional-focused cryptocurrency businesses in Europe, Voyager gains access to its virtual asset service provider (VASP) registration with the French financial markets regulator AMF. As well as its more than 60 institutional clients, of course.
More importantly, it will bring agency broker Voyager’s platform to the European retail market.
“LGO is the logical partner for Voyager to work with to expand the business into Europe,” said Steve Ehrlich, the co-founder and CEO of Voyager Digital, in a release. “The LGO team have a great reputation and have built a regulatory-compliant company, which is core to Voyager’s model.”
As part of the merger, the VGX and LGO tokens will be bundled into a newly minted version of the Voyager token. Current holders of VGX and LGO will be able to swap into the new version of the token, with ownership percentages “commensurate with the existing fully diluted market caps of the tokens,” Voyager said.
Ehrlich said that the new token will have “greater utility” and will include decentralized finance (DeFi) features including community governance and staking—with interest starting at 7%. Other benefits include cash-back trading rewards on the Voyager platform, debit card benefits, and the reduction of withdrawal fees.
The token swap is expected to happen before the end of the year.
“We’re very excited to join forces with Voyager and to build a global agency brokerage leader, said LGO CEO Hugo Renaudin. “Both LGO and Voyager share the same ambition of building services of excellence for customers in a secure regulated structure. We’re particularly proud of the structure of the deal, where both LGO and VGX token holders are well represented.”
LGO will discontinue its dedicated institutional exchange on Oct. 31, and transfer assets to Voyager by the end of 2020. Renaudin and LGO Chairman Frederic Montagnon will serve as advisors to the new company.
October has been a big month for Voyager Digital. On Oct. 8, it unveiled a new institutional and corporate account offering, as well as an over the counter (OTC) trading desk.
“As we continue to grow our platform, adding institutional-grade capabilities is a logical extension of our business,” Ehrlich said at the time. “Being a publicly-traded and regulated company in this industry, our platform offers the corporate treasury desks and institutions an unparalleled asset management solution along with the regulatory oversight they require.”
Then on Oct. 19, Voyager announced that Houston Rockets Hall of Famer Tracy Mcgrady had joined its advisory board. The seven-time NBA All-Star has launched a financial advisory program aimed at helping newly wealthy young athletes manage their assets.