Standard Chartered and BC Group are building a digital asset brokerage and exchange platform for institutional and corporate clients in the UK and Europe. A joint venture that brought together digital asset company BC Technology Group and the bank’s SC Ventures unit will aim to connect institutional traders to counterparties across markets, delivering access to deep pools of liquidity in bitcoin, Ethereum, and other crypto-assets.
BC Group’s Hong Kong-based digital asset platform, OSL, will serve as the software infrastructure while Standard Chartered provides its global network. brokerage expertise, and access to the European market. To lead the company, the joint venture chose BC Group CIO Usman Ahmad as the CEO, while Nick Philpott of SC Ventures will be COO. Alex Manson, SC Ventures, said: “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.
“We are constructing the building blocks for a safe and reliable investment infrastructure: on the back of Zodia Custody, which will ensure safe and compliant custody for institutional investors, 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.”
The new JV with BC Group builds SC Ventures’ recent partnership with Northern Trust to develop a digital custody service, called Zodia, aimed at institutional investors. Zodia will provide custody services for the most traded cryptocurrency assets – bitcoin, ethereum, followed by XRP, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.
At the time, Maxime De Guillebon, CEO, Zodia, said, “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.” The banking industry took small and slow steps in the direction toward digital asset trading throughout many years, but since late 2017 much has changed and the industry is now building out their platforms and offerings, mostly for institutional and professional investors, but some also cater to retail.