British banking giant Standard Chartered plans to launch an institutional crypto brokerage and exchange for U.K. and European clients.
To that end, Standard Chartered's innovation and ventures unit SC Ventures has partnered with BC Group, the parent company of the Hong Kong-regulated crypto exchange OSL.
SC Ventures and BC Group will set up a joint venture in the U.K. to connect institutional traders to counterparties and let them trade in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH). The joint venture aims to launch in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.
Usman Ahmad, chief information officer of BC Group, will be the CEO of the new entity. Nick Philpott, former executive director and head of market structure at Standard Chartered and now venture lead at SC Ventures, will be COO of the joint venture.
“We have a strong conviction that digital assets are here to stay and will be adopted by the institutional market as a highly relevant asset class," said Alex Manson, head of SC Ventures. "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.”
SC Ventures is also in the process of launching an institutional crypto custody service, Zodia Custody. For that initiative, SC Ventures partnered with Northern Trust last December.
SC Ventures is also an investor in the Swiss blockchain firm Metaco and is collaborating with the Bank of Thailand and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to explore blockchain interoperability for cross-border fund transfers.
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