On December 9th, 2020, SC Ventures, the innovation and venture unit of Standard Chartered, and Northern Trust announced the launch of Zodia Custody, an institutional-grade custody solution for cryptocurrencies. The agreement is subject to registration with the UK Financial Conduct Authority, all applicable regulatory filings, and customary closing conditions. Under the deal, Zodia is expected to begin operations in London in 2021. At launch, pending regulatory approval, Zodia will provide custody services for the most-traded cryptocurrency assets – Bitcoin, Ethereum, followed by XRP, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.
Zodia is designed to enable institutions to invest in the emerging cryptocurrency assets. According to the bank, cryptocurrencies, which now represent 0.3% of the world’s currency and bank deposits, would continue growing with a CAGR of 32% to 2024 from 2019. While there is increasing interest from institutional investors, they account for only 9% of investments in cryptocurrencies at present.
Maxime De Guillebon, Chief Executive Officer of Zodia, said: “Zodia was established to address the need for a cryptocurrency custodian that truly understands custody. 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. By doing so, we enable operational efficiency and speed of transaction without compromising on security or reliability.”
Alex Manson, who heads SC Ventures, pointed out: “Zodia’s mission is to be a ‘force for good’ by lifting industry standards for digital assets in a sustainable, safe and responsible way.”
Zodia combines the traditional custody principles and expertise of a bank with the agility of a fintech company to provide an infrastructure that meets the high standards and expectations of institutional investors through a platform that adapts to the changing needs of clients and the market.
Pete Cherecwich, President, Corporate & Institutional Services, Northern Trust, stated: “The introduction of digital custody backed by the know-how and experience of global banks is a breakthrough in the evolution and support of institutional cryptocurrency markets. Zodia’s robust capabilities will make it possible for institutional asset owners, family offices and asset managers to invest in a range of cryptocurrencies as interest continues to grow in these emerging and innovative financial instruments.”
Zodia further establishes Standard Chartered and Northern Trust as leaders in the development of digital-asset infrastructure. Alongside its partnerships with blockchain service providers, 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.
Source: Press release Northern Trust
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