Standard Chartered's Venture Arm Establishes Institutional Crypto Brokerage

SC Ventures, the venture capital arm of British banking giant Standard Chartered, has teamed up with Chinese investment holding firm BC Technology Group to launch a new cryptocurrency brokerage and trading platform. "We strongly believe that digital assets will persist and be adopted by the institutional market as a highly relevant asset class," Alex Manson, head of SC Ventures, told Reuters today. According to the report, the new platform is aimed at institutional investors in the UK and Europe. It allows them to trade with Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. Specifically, BC Technology Group already operates OSL, the first cryptocurrency exchange to be licensed by Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission. “The new company will provide a brokerage and clearing platform to enable secure underwriting and trading by the world's largest and most demanding investors,” Manson said. HSBC is not in Bitcoin as an asset class: CEO SC Ventures is also currently working on an enterprise-grade cryptocurrency custody platform called Zodia. To that end, the company entered into a partnership with financial services provider Northern Trust last December. Standard Chartered Joins Other Banks Other banks are taking a more cautious stance on cryptocurrencies. Just last week, Noel Quinn, CEO of British investment bank HSBC, stressed that his organization is "not in Bitcoin". “If our clients want to be there, of course they are, but we are not promoting it as an asset class in our asset management business,” Quinn said. Earlier this year, British bank Natwest banned institutional clients from trading cryptocurrencies, citing warnings from the Financial Conduct Authority that Bitcoin and other digital assets are risky investments. Not all banks take a negative stance on cryptocurrency. BNY Mellon, one of the oldest banks in the US, has recently launched a new cryptocurrency-focused outfit in Ireland and allowed its clients.

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