In a strategic move, Zodia, the institutional cryptocurrency custody platform co-owned by Standard Chartered, SBI Holdings, and Northern Trust, is extending its services to Hong Kong. This expansion is a response to the increasing interest in cryptocurrencies among institutional investors in the region, as stated by Zodia CEO Julian Sawyer.
Growing Institutional Interest
Sawyer pointed out that the surge in cryptocurrency demand in Hong Kong is predominantly fueled by institutional investors. This aligns seamlessly with Zodia‘s specialized crypto custody offerings. Notably, the local government in Hong Kong envisions digital assets as the future and aims to position the region as a crypto industry hub.
This development in Hong Kong is a part of Zodia‘s proactive expansion efforts across Asia. In recent months, the platform has extended its services to Japan, Singapore, and Australia. Sawyer disclosed that there is substantial interest from clients in these markets, both existing and prospective, who seek to venture into the institutional crypto space.
Gradual Introduction of Services
Zodia‘s approach in Hong Kong involves a phased introduction of services, with initial support for a select range of cryptocurrency assets. The company is actively engaged in discussions with Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to ensure full compliance with regulatory standards within the financial district.
Standard Chartered’s initial announcement in late 2020 to launch an institutional custodial platform for cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, laid the groundwork for Zodia’s establishment in 2021. Zodia has since garnered substantial support, securing $36 million in a Series A funding round led by SBI Holdings in April 2023. The platform offers comprehensive support for 38 cryptocurrencies, encompassing leading options like Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as stablecoins such as Tether and USDC.