Standard Chartered, a major European bank, recently announced its plans to open a cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage platform in the United Kingdom and Europe.
The Unit Will Target Institutional Investors
According to a Reuters report from June 2, a StanChart PLC entity is planning to launch a crypto trading and exchange platform in the United Kingdom and Europe. The crypto platform will be created under a joint venture between BC Technology Group, which runs the Hong Kong-licensed crypto exchange OSL, and SC Ventures (StanChart’s innovation arm).
The exchange and brokerage platform, according to the news report, would focus on the European market, linking rich clients with counterparties trading BTC, ETH, and other major digital assets.
StanChart’s plan to make crypto available to institutional traders is the latest endorsement for the new asset class from a major bank.
According to Alex Manson, Head of SC Ventures, the firm’s innovation arm, the plans for a crypto exchange and brokerage will be targeted at institutional clients.
“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,” Manson stated.
The platform is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of this year, with BC Group Chief Information Officer Usman Ahmad serving as CEO and SC Ventures’ Nick Philpott serving as COO.
Standard Chartered’s move toward the establishment of a crypto exchange and brokerage platform comes at a critical time, as global adoption and institutional demand for access and exposure to crypto continues to grow despite negative media attention and tightening regulations from countries such as China.
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Wall Street Continues Crypto Embrace
The recent climb in the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, together with the listing of the Coinbase exchange on the Nasdaq stock exchange, has helped legitimize the asset class and put many critics to rest.
Despite the recent drop in cryptocurrency markets, a number of Wall Street banks have taken efforts to offer bitcoin services to its clients in the last month.
NYDIG, a crypto custody provider, announced a service on May 5 that will bring bitcoin to hundreds of institutions across the United States. Clients of participating U.S. banks will be able to purchase, hold, and trade BTC using their existing accounts, thanks to a cooperation with fintech firm Fidelity National Information Services.
Following that revelation, numerous major banking institutions began to embrace cryptocurrency after years of widespread opposition. Citibank announced on May 7 that it was considering entering the lucrative cryptocurrency markets, citing a surge in interest among its clientele.
Then, on May 10, UBS Group, a Swiss banking conglomerate, revealed that it was looking at numerous options for supplying cryptocurrency to its high-net-worth clientele.
This move from Standard Chartered marks a renewed interest in crypto from major banks.
Related article | Bank Of England Bashes Cryptocurrencies… While Considering A CBDC
Featured image from PixaBay, charts from TradingView.