Standard Chartered's Venture Arm Builds Institutional Crypto Brokerage

Standard Chartered’s Venture Arm Builds Institutional Crypto Brokerage

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SC Ventures, a venture capital arm of British banking giant Standard Chartered, will team up with Chinese investment holding company BC Technology Group to launch a new cryptocurrency brokerage and trading platform.

“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,” SC Ventures’ head Alex Manson told Reuters today.

Per the report, the new platform is aimed at institutional investors across the U.K. and Europe. It will allow them to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. 

Notably, BC Technology Group is already operating OSL, the first cryptocurrency exchange to receive a license from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission.

“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,” Manson added.

SC Ventures is also currently working on an institutional-grade cryptocurrency custody platform called Zodia. To this end, the firm partnered with financial services company Northern Trust last December.

Standard Chartered joins other banks

Other banks are taking a more cautious stance on cryptocurrencies. 

Just last week, Noel Quinn, the CEO of British investment bank HSBC, stressed that his organization is “not into Bitcoin.”

“If our clients want to be there, then of course they are, but we are not promoting it as an asset class within our wealth management business,” Quinn said.

Earlier this year, U.K. bank Natwest barred corporate customers who deal in cryptocurrency, pointing to warnings from the Financial Conduct Authority that Bitcoin and other digital assets are risky investments.

Not all banks are taking a negative stance on cryptocurrency. BNY Mellon, one of the oldest banks in the U.S., recently launched a new cryptocurrency-focused outfit in Ireland, allowing its clients to hold, transfer, and issue digital assets.

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