Standard Chartered unit to offer crypto trading services in UK and Europe
The bank’s innovation unit is partnering with the parent company of Hong Kong’s OSL Group to bring crypto exposure to institutional clients in the UK and Europe.
SC Ventures, the innovations and ventures unit of global bank Standard Chartered, announced Wednesday it would launch a crypto brokerage and exchange platform for institutions clients in UK and Europe, as per a release.
Crypto for all
The unit will partner with BC Technology Group, the parent of Hong Kong-based regulated crypto platform OSL, for the service. The group’s existing CIO Usman Ahmad will serve as CEO of the new company.
“We’re thrilled to enter into this partnership to make secure and compliant digital asset trading more accessible to institutional investors in Europe,” said Wayne Trench, CEO of BC Group’s OSL, in a statement. He added the move fit in with the broader geographical expansion and growth strategy of OSL.
Alex Manson, the head of SC Ventures, said the team had a “strong conviction” that cryptocurrencies are here to stay and will eventually be adopted by the institutional market as a “highly relevant asset class.”
“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,” he added.
Facinating to see which banks are jumping into crypto desks & which are taking a public stand against an entire asset class.
TBH i'm not sure custodian banks have the luxury of not being in crypto right nowhttps://t.co/3xcw2CWMeA
— Ma/ya Zehavi (@mayazi) June 2, 2021
The partnership comes months after SC Ventures announced a strategic partnership with Northern Trust to launch Zodia Custody, an institutional-grade custody solution for cryptocurrencies, in December last year.
Zodia is designed to enable institutions to invest in digital assets that are transforming how financial markets operate, including transaction and settlement.
Zodia is not Standard Chartered’s only crypto foray, with the bank investing the underlying technology as well. The firm has earlier invested in blockchain technology provider Metaco and is collaborating with the Bank of Thailand and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to explore blockchains for cross-border fund transfers.
Meanwhile, the development comes close on the heels of institutional players making big moves in the crypto market. Last month saw banks like JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs announce their own crypto products—or plans to launch their own crypto products—citing a maturing market and interest from wealthy investors.
As the meme goes, the institutions are coming. Or they are already here. Depends on how you look at it.