Zodia Custody, a digital asset joint venture operation between Standard Chartered and Northern Trust, has received regulatory approval from the Financial Conduct Authority and is now providing commercial services to clients as a cryptoasset business.
Zodia Custody is one of nine cryptoasset businesses granted FCA registration under the UK’s Money Laundering Regulations and has commenced commercial operations following a period of testing.
Aimed at the institutional market, Zodia Custody will initally provide safekeeping for the most commonly traded crypto currencies - bitcoin and ethereum, followed by XRP, litecoin and bitcoin cash - which collectively account for around 80% of the total assets traded on the major crypto exchanges.
Alex Manson of SC Ventures said: “We believe cryptoassets as an asset class is here to stay. We set up Zodia Custody with the clear goal of serving institutional investors who want to invest in cryptoassets in a sustainable, safe and responsible way. Our aspiration is to lift standards, grow the ecosystem and help a nascent industry mature, becoming more acceptable to institutional investors and ultimately society at large.”
The launch of the business is part of a wider foray into the digital asset market by both institutions.
Standard Chartered has invested in core technology provider Metaco and is collaborating with the Bank of Thailand and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to explore distributed ledger interoperability for cross-border fund transfers. It most recently announced a partnership with BC Group this June to establish a digital asset brokerage and exchange platform for institutional and corporate clients in the UK and Europe.
In 2020, Northern Trust and BondEvalue partnered to complete the first trade of a fractionalised blockchain-based bond, working in cooperation with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.