October 23, 2023

Standard Chartered Plans To Offer Bitcoin Services in Dubai in 2024

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered has announced that it plans to introduce custody services for Bitcoin and Ether in Dubai by the first quarter of 2024.

Additionally, the bank is in the final stages of securing In-Principle Approval to operate as a cryptocurrency broker-dealer in Abu Dhabi’s over-the-counter market.

Earlier this year, Standard Chartered and DIFC entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on digital asset custody services.

Waqar Chaudry, the bank’s Executive Director of Innovation, highlighted Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) extensive global reach. He stated that DIFC’s robust regulatory framework allows the bank to expand its digital asset services to diverse jurisdictions. As a result, Standard Chartered aims to exceed local offerings by obtaining regulatory approvals in various countries.

Chaudry said: “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.”

Zodia Custody, a venture supported by Standard Chartered Ventures, will oversee the new custodial services. The company has a commendable track record, having already obtained approvals from regulators in the UK, Ireland, and Luxembourg. Recently, it secured a $36 million investment led by SBI Holdings.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a conducive environment for financial institutions involved in digital assets. Bill Winters, the CEO of Standard Chartered, praised the balanced regulatory approach of the UAE. The bank also has existing operational frameworks with traditional custodians, which is expected to hasten the network effect once Standard Chartered ventures into the digital asset market.

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