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Standard Chartered to Launch Spot Crypto Trading Desk

This initiative marks a significant step for the institution, which has been gradually increasing its involvement with digital assets.

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British multinational banking giant Standard Chartered has announced plans to launch a London-based spot cryptocurrency trading desk, which will be part of its FX trading unit, according to a Bloomberg report citing two people familiar with the matter.

The bank, which has a strong presence in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, aims to capitalize on the growing demand for cryptocurrency services. The decision comes amidst a broader trend where financial institutions are increasingly integrating digital assets into their offerings.

“We have been working closely with our regulators to support demand from our institutional clients to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum, in line with our strategy to support clients across the wider digital asset ecosystem, from access and custody to tokenization and interoperability,” the bank said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.

The move underscores a strategic pivot towards meeting the evolving needs of its institutional clients. As traditional financial entities recognize the potential of cryptocurrencies as viable investment vehicles, they are moving to establish infrastructure that facilitates secure and compliant trading.

Currently, Standard Chartered operates within the digital asset space through via its stakes in Zodia Custody and Zodia Markets, which provide custody and over-the-counter trading services. In November 2023, its ventures arm, SC Ventures, also launched tokenization platform Libeara in partnership with FundBridge Capital, leveraging Decentralized Ledger Technology (DLT) to transform government bonds into digital tokens.

Earlier this year, the bank increased its year-end Bitcoin price forecast by 50% to $150,000 and its 2025 target to $250,000, citing the interest in spot Bitcoin ETFs. It also said it expects Ethereum to surpass $8,000 by the end of 2024 following the approval of spot Ether ETF.

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