Standard Chartered will launch a digital asset brokerage and trading platform for UK and EU institutional and corporate clients.
The new platform will spearhead a joint venture between StanChart’s innovation unit, SC Ventures, and BC Group, a digital asset firm that operates the OSL licensed crypto exchange in Hong Kong.
Based in the UK to target the European institutional crypto market, the joint venture does not yet have a name and is subject to regulatory approval. The new company will provide traders with access to bitcoin, ether, and other digital assets, and is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The move positions StanChart as a rival to some of the world’s largest institutional crypto exchanges, including Gemini, BitGo and LMAX Digital of the London-based Winklevoss twins.
Institutional investors and businesses have invested in the crypto-asset space this year as bitcoin and other tokens have taken off. Data collected by StanChart showed that total trading volume on major exchanges averaged over $ 4 billion per day this month, with a total market cap of over $ 1 billion across all. crypto assets.
StanChart joins investment banks Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and BNY Mellon among Wall Street names leaping into action, as several lenders reveal plans to launch cryptocurrency trading desks for clients earlier this year.
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JPMorgan also has a dedicated blockchain unit named Onyx, which is focused on developing its own JPM Coin token and an interbank payment network.
Meanwhile, Tesla, Square, and MicroStrategy collectively bought billions of dollars in bitcoin for their corporate treasury.
The new company will offer brokerage and exchange services to enable wider adoption and trading of cryptocurrencies by “the world’s largest and most demanding investors,” said Alex Manson, director of SC Ventures.
“We have a firm belief that digital assets are here to stay and will be adopted by the institutional market as a very relevant asset class,” Manson added in a June 2 statement.
Nick Philpott of SC Ventures will become the company’s COO, while BC Group CIO Usman Ahmad will become CEO.
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StanChart has already made several advances in cryptocurrency, including launching an institutional custodial service Zodia Custody through a strategic partnership with Northern Trust in December.
It also took a stake in blockchain technology provider Metaco in July, and said it was working with central banks in Thailand and Hong Kong to explore blockchain-based cross-border money transfers.
To contact the author of this story with comments or news, email Emily Nicolle