Market Musings

British Bank is Latest to Woo Institutions Who Want to Invest in Crypto

Published on:
December 9, 2020

Zodia is set to provide custody services for Bitcoin and Ethereum at launch, with XRP, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash to follow at a later date.

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A British bank has announced that it is launching a cryptocurrency custodian solution for institutional investors.

SC Ventures, an innovation unit within Standard Chartered, which was founded in 1853, says Zodia Custody is set to open for business in 2021 once it has registered with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

The bank says cryptocurrencies already represent 0.3% of the world’s currency and bank deposits, with a compound annual growth rate of 32% forecast between 2019 and 2024.

Standard Chartered also believes that institutional investors are finding it difficult to gain exposure to digital assets. Even though there’s exceptionally high demand at the moment, they represent just 9% of investment in cryptocurrencies right now.

Zodia is set to provide custody services for Bitcoin and Ethereum at launch, with XRP, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash to follow at a later date — reflecting 80% of the assets traded on top cryptocurrency exchanges. SC Ventures executive Alex Manson said:

“The launch of Zodia demonstrates our commitment to rewiring the DNA in banking. Drawing on Standard Chartered’s heritage of providing custody services to institutional clients for 160 years, Zodia’s mission is to be a ‘force for good’ by lifting industry standards for digital assets in a sustainable, safe and responsible way.”

And Northern Trust, which has partnered with SC Ventures to launch Zodia, added:

“Zodia’s robust capabilities will make it possible for institutional asset owners, family offices and asset managers to invest in a range of cryptocurrencies as interest continues to grow in these emerging and innovative financial instruments.”

Why This News Matters

Standard Chartered is the latest bank to announce that it will offer support for cryptocurrencies.

Only yesterday, reports suggested that BBVA — Spain’s second-largest bank — was also planning to launch cryptocurrency trading and custody services. And last week, one of Germany’s oldest financial institutions also unveiled plans to launch a crypto fund.

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