Zodia, the institutional cryptocurrency custody platform co-owned by Standard Chartered, SBI Holdings, and Northern Trust, is extending its services to Hong Kong. The move comes in response to the rising demand for cryptocurrencies among institutional investors in the region, according to Zodia CEO Julian Sawyer.
Institutional Demand in Hong Kong
Sawyer noted that the demand for cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong is primarily being driven by institutional investors, aligning well with Zodia‘s crypto custody offering. He also highlighted that the local government in Hong Kong sees digital assets as the future and aims to establish the region as a hub for the crypto industry.
Zodia’s Expansion in Asia
Zodia‘s launch in Hong Kong is part of the company’s aggressive expansion efforts in Asia. In recent months, the platform has extended its services to Japan, Singapore, and Australia. Sawyer revealed that there is significant interest from clients in these markets, both current and prospective, who want to participate in the institutional crypto space.
Zodia plans to gradually introduce its services in Hong Kong, initially providing support for a limited selection of cryptocurrency assets. The company is reportedly in discussions with Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission and Hong Kong Monetary Authority regarding regulatory compliance in the financial district.
Standard Chartered’s Crypto Custodial Platform
Standard Chartered initially announced its plans to launch an institutional custodial platform for cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, in late 2020. Zodia, established in 2021, secured $36 million in a Series A funding round led by SBI Holdings in April 2023. The platform offers support for 38 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and stablecoins like Tether and USDC.