London-based financial baking giant Standard Chartered has announced the launch of its institutional-grade crypto custodial solution on Wednesday, December 9. Dubbed as Zodia Custody, this custodial service will be a joint partnership between SC Ventures – Standard Chartered’s innovation unit – and Northern Trust, a leading asset services provider.
The banking giant says that the service aims to offer institutional players better exposure to crypto-assets. Currently, institutional players account for only 9% of the total investments in digital currencies. Although we have seen several institutions warming up to cryptocurrencies this year in 2020, the number is still less.
Along with crypto custodial service, the Zodia platform will also allow institutional players to invest in emerging crypto assets. Besides, it will also offer seamless transaction and settlement facilities to the users. Note that the Zodia platform will a registered entity with the U.K’s top financial regulator, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Maxime De Guillebon, Chief Executive Officer of Zodia, said:
“Zodia was established to address the need for a cryptocurrency custodian that truly understands custody. We combine the risk management, compliance, governance and security approach of a regulated financial institution with the cutting-edge innovation of crypto asset and key management technologies. By doing so, we enable operational efficiency and speed of transaction without compromising on security or reliability.”
Combining FinTech With Traditional Custodial Principles
Founded in 1969, Standard Chartered has emerged as a formidable banking player in global finance over the last many decades. With the new Zodia platform, the bank plans to combine the best of the traditional custodial principles with innovative FinTech solutions.
The bank plans to build a profound infrastructure with high-quality services to institutional players. At the same, Zodia will have the flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of the market and clients. Zodia will kickstart its operations next year in 2021.
Initially, Zodia will start offering crypto custodial services for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Later, it will expand the services to XRP, Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
The latest announcement comes only two after Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters hinted at the bank launching its own digital currencies. Speaking at the Singapore FinTech Festival, Mr. Winters noted that the adoption of cryptocurrencies is inevitable. He also mentioned that both – central banks and commercial banks – have the scope of launching their own digital currencies.
Apart from Standard Chartered other banking giants like JPMorgan have also been working on offering crypto custodial services after the U.S. OCC approved all nationalized banks to foray into this market, a few months back.