Zodia Custody, the Standard Chartered Bank’s crypto brokerage, is planning to offer its services to institutional investors in Ireland, the Irish daily Independent revealed on Sunday. The company operates as an exchange and brokerage for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.
The crypto custodian platform was established late last year by the U.K. bank’s SC Ventures subsidiary and U.S.-based wealth and asset management firm Northern Trust. Both parent companies have already invested heavily in blockchain services in the past few years, the newspaper noted.
The joint venture specializes in managing investments in digital and crypto assets for financial institutions. It has already onboarded a number of pilot clients since its launch in December 2020. The new entity applied for registration with the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
According to a statement released at the time, Zodia will provide custody services for a number of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH), ripple (XRP), and litecoin (LTC). Standard Chartered motivated its decision to create the platform with increasing institutional interest in digital currencies while noting that institutions accounted for only 9% of crypto investments.
In June this year, the British banking giant announced that its SC Ventures arm is establishing a cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage service in partnership with BC Technology Group, an investment company specializing in digital assets, which operates out of Hong Kong. The aim is to provide institutional and corporate clients with access to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH).
With its friendly business climate the Republic of Ireland has become a European base for financial institutions and fintech businesses. These include Bank of New York Mellon, which launched a ‘Digital Innovation Hub’ in Dublin in May, and Goldman Sachs-backed fintech firm Blockdaemon, which has an office in Galway.
The country, which is an EU member state, provides unhindered access to the Union’s common market. A number of companies from the cryptocurrency industry, including well-known names such as digital asset exchange Kraken, have also established presence there.