Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital has hired its first head of Europe, tapping Tim Grant – the now-former CEO of Switzerland’s SIX Digital Exchange – to chart the crypto conglomerate’s continental expansion.
Grant, who has worked in crypto since 2015, told CoinDesk he’ll attempt to help Galaxy’s nearly $2 billion wealth management business crack through Europe’s patchwork economies, with a sharp focus on Germany and Switzerland.
“Those are two jurisdictions where you can do real solid institutional business, because the government supports crypto,” Grant said.
That effort could be buoyed by a new German law that allows the financial institutions of Europe’s largest economy to park up to 20% of their assets in crypto. These so-called “spezialfonds” could collectively pour $415 billion into the industry, though that capital flow has been slow so far.
Europe’s other, smaller economies haven’t all “developed” their crypto regulation to the point where Galaxy could comfortably play, according Grant. He will direct the conglomerate’s influence campaign to help those policymakers and regulators catch up with Switzerland, Germany and the U.K., where the firm already has an outpost.
“We want to get everything to the point where the wall of money that we know exists – that institutional wall – can really get access to this asset class in the right way,” Grant said.
He cited Spain, France and Italy as regions where regulators are starting to wake up to crypto and predicted the real momentum will crack within 18 months.
“We are going to position ourselves to: a.) help that happen and b.) be there when that happens,” said Grant.
Galaxy, already publicly listed in Canada, is preparing for a U.S. listing later this year. In May, it splashed $1.2 billion on BitGo, bringing crypto custody in-house in one of the largest acquisitions in crypto history. That mega-deal has yet to close, but when it does, Galaxy will inherit BitGo’s German footprint.