Standard Chartered-owned crypto firm Zodia launches in Hong Kong

October 31, 2023

By Sharan Kaur Phillora

Standard Chartered’s crypto security arm, Zodia Custody, has made its official entry into the Hong Kong market, marking a significant stride in its Asia-Pacific operations. The UK-based firm, established in 2020, is known for providing secure storage solutions for financial institutions delving into the crypto space.

Here’s what we know:

According to an exclusive report by CNBC, Julian Sawyer, the CEO of Zodia, expressed that Hong Kong’s institutional-driven crypto demand aligns well with the services offered by Zodia. This launch comes when Hong Kong’s regulatory framework is increasingly warming up to digital assets despite mainland China’s rigid stance against cryptocurrency activities.

Previously, Zodia has successfully launched its services in other Asia-Pacific regions, including Japan, Singapore, and Australia. The firm has also secured regulatory approval from the Financial Conduct Authority, solidifying its position in the crypto asset business. Zodia’s robust expansion strategy underscores the growing acceptance and institutional demand for cryptocurrency services across different jurisdictions.

The Hong Kong launch is seen as a phased approach. Initially, Zodia aims to cater to a limited set of crypto assets for its Hong Kong clientele while actively engaging with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for regulatory approval in the financial district.

The move by Zodia is emblematic of a broader trend where traditional financial institutions are extending their operations to embrace the burgeoning crypto economy. Standard Chartered, alongside Northern Trust and Japan’s SBI Holdings, holds a stake in Zodia, portraying a collaborative effort among established financial entities to foster a secure and regulated crypto asset ecosystem.

The proactive steps by Hong Kong’s regulatory authorities, such as the recent introduction of a regulatory control for digital assets, provide a conducive environment for crypto firms like Zodia. Currently, the SFC has granted licenses to two firms, OSL Digital, and Hash Blockchain, paving the way for more registered and regulated crypto service providers in the region.

About the author

Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.

Translate Now