Standard Chartered: $840 Billion Global Bank Introduces Crypto Custody Service in Dubai

Standard Chartered PLC, a prominent multinational services company based in the UK, is set to make significant strides in the world of cryptocurrency. The firm is gearing up to introduce a cutting-edge crypto custody service catering specifically to institutional clients in Dubai, UAE. This move is part of the company’s strategic plan and is slated for launch in the first quarter of 2024.

The roots of Standard Chartered in the UAE trace back to 1958, marking the beginning of a long-standing relationship with the region. Over the years, the company has expanded its presence, establishing multiple branches and, in a significant milestone in 2006, becoming the first bank within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to acquire its own premises. Presently, Dubai serves as the central hub for the Africa and Middle East region, housing the Islamic Banking arm of the institution, known as Standard Chartered Saadiq.

Earlier this year, Standard Chartered solidified its commitment to the digital asset space by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). This collaboration was aimed at exploring the realm of digital assets, with a particular focus on digital asset custody. Having successfully navigated the regulatory landscape, Standard Chartered is now prepared to unveil its official crypto custody service, with a well-defined timeline in place.

Waqar Chaudry, the executive director of innovation at Standard Chartered, emphasized the company’s robust infrastructure, stating, “We have existing rails and settlement capability as well as service provision with other traditional custodians; we can service them, we can use them, they can use us. So that network effect will take hold pretty quickly after entities like us enter the market, rather than depending on a single bank network, unlike what recently failed institutions had built for the crypto market.”

Underpinning this crypto custody initiative is Zodia Custody, a leading digital asset custodian backed by Standard Chartered. Zodia Custody has received In-Principle Approval (IPA) to operate as a cryptocurrency broker-dealer in Abu Dhabi’s over-the-counter (OTC) market, further enhancing the company’s foothold in the burgeoning crypto landscape. With these strategic moves, Standard Chartered is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of digital asset management, setting new standards in the evolving world of finance.

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