- Standard Chartered will launch a cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage joint venture, the British bank said on Wednesday.
- The joint venture with BC Technology Group aims to serve institutional and corporate clients.
- StanChart’s move comes shortly after rival HSBC said it would not offer customers access to cryptocurrencies.
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Standard Chartered will launch a digital asset trading and brokerage service, with its announcement on Wednesday shortly after the head of rival lender HSBC said it would not expand into cryptocurrencies.
SC Ventures, a unit of StanChart, will establish services for institutional investors and corporate clients in the UK and Europe with BC Technology Group, which operates the OSL licensed cryptocurrency exchange in Hong Kong.
The joint venture will be based in the UK and aims to give clients access to deep pools of liquidity in bitcoin, ethereum and other crypto assets.
“We have strong belief that digital assets are here to stay and will be adopted by the institutional market as a very relevant asset class,” said Alex Manson, director of SC Ventures, in a statement. The JV could be launched in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The move comes as other financial institutions expand into the crypto market whose market cap has reached $ 1.7 trillion, although a massive sell-off in space in May pushed the market cap below. of $ 2 trillion.
Goldman Sachs launched a cryptocurrency trading desk, and Morgan Stanley became the first major U.S. financial firm to offer access to Bitcoin funds. As StanChart prepares its crypto transactions, HSBC boss Noel Quinn said last week that his company has no plans to start a crypto bureau or offer cryptocurrencies to customers.
“Given the volatility, we are not in bitcoin as an asset class,” Quinn told Reuters.
SC Ventures partnered with Northern Trust, a Chicago-based wealth management firm, in December to launch crypto-custody service Zodia Custody. The London-based operations, upon regulatory approval, would provide custodial services for bitcoin and ethereum, followed by XRP, litecoin and bitcoin cash.
StanChart invested in 2020 in Metaco, a provider of digital asset infrastructure, and is working with the Bank of Thailand and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to explore distributed ledger interoperability for cross-border money transfers.
Usman Ahmad, Chief Information Officer of BC Group, will be CEO of the new joint venture with SC Ventures.