SC Ventures, the innovation and ventures unit of Standard Chartered, will launch a crypto custody service targeting institutional investors in London next year.
According to a Dec. 9 press statement, the British bank is partnering with U.S. wealth and asset management firm Northern Trust for the project. Together, they will launch a new business called Zodia Custody.
The deal is still subject to registration with the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and other regulatory approvals. At launch, Zodia will provide custody services for bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), ripple (XRP), litecoin (LTC), and bitcoin cash (BCH), said the statement.
Standard Chartered noted that institutional investors account for only 9% of investments in crypto assets currently. The custody service rollout is a result of rising institutional interest in virtual currencies, it 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,” said Pete Cherecwich, president of corporate and institutional services at Northern Trust.
“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,” he added.
A lack of custody services targeting corporates may have been considered a stumbling block to institutional bitcoin adoption in the past. Now, large financial institutions and banks – including Fidelity Investments, JPMorgan, and others – are moving into the space, offering various crypto services.
Founded in 1889, Northern Trust has offices across the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. As of Sept. 30, Northern Trust had assets under custody/administration of $13.1 trillion, and assets under management of $1.3 trillion.
Operating out of London as its headquarters, Standard Chartered has a presence in 145 countries. The bank’s chief executive officer, Bill Winters, said this week that the adoption of digital currencies is “absolutely inevitable.”
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