British banking giant Standard Chartered is leaping into the crypto industry. The bank’s innovation and ventures unit, SC Ventures, is collaborating with an Asian partner to launch a digital asset brokerage and exchange platform for institutional and corporate clients in the UK and Europe.
It will initially target the European market, connecting institutional traders to counterparties in order to deliver deep pools of liquidity in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital assets.
According to the announcement, Standard Chartered is partnering with the leading public fintech and digital asset company in Asia, BC Technology, which operates the Hong Kong-licensed cryptocurrency exchange OSL.
The bank’s expansion into crypto trading marks another leap forward for the industry. Headquartered in the UK, Standard Chartered PLC ranks 43rd among banks around the world and currently manages just over $720 billion.
Head of SC Ventures Alex Manson wants to ensure that the company is prepared to ride the crypto wave as adoption from institutional investors continues to see an uptick.
“We have a strong conviction that digital assets are here to stay and will be adopted by the institutional market as a highly relevant asset class. We are constructing the building blocks for a safe and reliable investment infrastructure: on the back of Zodia Custody, which will ensure safe and compliant custody for institutional investors, the new company will provide a brokerage and exchange platform to enable safe adoption and trading by the world’s largest and most demanding investors.”
Usman Ahmad, the chief information officer of BC Group, will lead the joint venture’s new exchange. His strategy is to develop a rock solid foundation that will draw larger players into the crypto space.
“With total market capitalization of digital assets over $1 trillion, collaboration between market-leading firms is imperative to the continued development of robust global institutional digital asset infrastructure. The JV will aid in maturing the digital asset ecosystem by combining OSL’s expertise in regulatory compliant, secure institutional digital asset trading with SC Ventures’ proven capability to develop future technology capabilities in banking and finance.”
The bank’s move with BC Technology is designed to establish them as leaders in the crypto space which has a market cap of just over $1.7 trillion. In December 2020, SC Ventures collaborated with Northern Trust, an Illinois-based wealth management firm, to launch Zodia Custody, an institutional-grade custody solution for digital assets.
Standard Chartered also invested in Metaco, a blockchain technology solution, in July of 2020 and is collaborating with the Bank of Thailand and Hong Kong Monetary Authority to explore distributed ledger interoperability for transferring funds internationally.Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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