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Standard Chartered-backed Zodia Custody to offer yield on crypto holdings

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  • Zodia Custody has partnered with OpenEden, a startup focused on bringing real-world assets on-chain.

Zodia Custody, the crypto unit of Standard Chartered, will begin offering institutional clients yield on their crypto holdings for the first time.

The firm has partnered with OpenEden to connect crypto assets held in custody with real-world yield opportunities, according to an announcement today. The product will also give institutions exposure to staking services.

“There’s a lot in the world of traditional finance that can be moved to digital assets,” said Julian Sawyer, CEO of Zodia Custody, in a statement. “The challenge is how to bring some of the benefits to the world in a safe, compliant and regulatory-first way. Our first such partnership with OpenEden is exactly how we do this — by bringing access to yield products to our clients.”

Zodia Custody was first unveiled by Standard Chartered and Northern Trust, the asset servicing firm, in 2021. It announced a joint venture with SBI Digital Asset Holdings to form a custody business in Japan earlier this year and in April raised $36 million from SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s venture arm, and SBI Holdings, among other investors.  

Zodia Custody also has a sister company,  an institutional trading platform named Zodia Markets, which earlier this year outlined plans to accelerate its expansion in the U.S. in the wake of increased institutional demand.

RWA hype grows

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The idea of connecting idle crypto with real-world assets, or RWA, has gained momentum in crypto circles lately. Helix, a startup incubated by Singapore-based private credit business Helicap, raised $2 million in pre-seed funding for its real-world assets protocol a few weeks ago.

Singapore-based OpenEden was set up by Jeremy Ng and Eugene Ng, who previously ran Asia Pacific and business development in the region, respectively, for crypto exchange Gemini. They left the firm in December 2021. OpenEden broke cover in April this year, trumpeting plans to bring tokenized U.S. Treasury Bills on-chain.

“There are billions of dollars’ worth of stablecoins sitting on the sidelines when they could easily be generating yields for investors,” co-founder Jeremy Ng said in a statement today.

Zodia Custody announced that it had entered the Singapore market just last week, stating that it saw increased demand for bank-grade crypto custody services in the region. 


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About Author

Ryan Weeks is deals editor at the The Block, focused on fundraising, M&A and institutional trends in the crypto space, among other things. He is particularly interested in investigative work — so please send tips! Ryan previously worked at Financial News, Dow Jones as a fintech correspondent in London. Prior to that, he wrote for several different publications, including Sifted, AltFi and Wired. Beyond journalism, Ryan is a keen reader and writer. He enjoys all things active, especially running, rugby, climbing and tennis.