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Standard Chartered to launch institutional cryptocurrency trading platform

June 3, 2021

The platform will be based in the UK and will initially target the European market

Standard Chartered’s innovation arm SC Ventures and BC Technology Group is set to establish a cryptocurrency brokerage and exchange platform in Britain and Europe.

Investment holding company BC Technology Group operates Hong Kong-licensed cryptocurrency exchange OSL. The new platform from Standard Chartered will target institutional clients, the bank said on Wednesday.

The statement said the platform will be based in the UK and will initially target the European market, connecting institutional traders with counterparties trading bitcoin, ether and other digital assets. The JV aims to launch in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.

BC Group Chief Information Officer Usman Ahmad will be CEO of the new company, and Nick Philpott of SC Ventures will be COO.

Big banks who once shunned digital assets are fast warming to the idea. Morgan Stanley said it will start offering bitcoin exposure to its wealthy clients. Last month, there were reports stating that Goldman Sachs has restarted its cryptocurrency trading desk and will begin dealing bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards for clients.

But Standard Chartered’s move is seen as the strongest fillip from a mainstream lender for cryptocurrencies. However, HSBC CEO Noel Quinn has made it clear that it won't launch cryptocurrency trading desk or offer cryptocurrencies as investments to customers.