Standard Chartered Now Offering Crypto Exchange Services

The British banking giant has a history with crypto involvement, and is now establishing themselves firmly into the sector.

The Crypto Standard

Standard Chartered has announced that they are now offering institutional crypto brokerage and crypto exchange services for their European clients. SC Ventures, the innovation and ventures unit in Standard Chartered, partnered with one of Asia’s leading digital asset companies in DBS Bank to establish a digital asset brokerage and exchange platform.  

Bridging Legacy Financing to Digital Assets

Standard Chartered, a British banking institution, decided to partner with DBS Bank from Singapore so they could start offering crypto exchanges services. The world is seeing a paradigm shift in institutional adoption; there will soon be a seamless flow of money from the traditional legacy system into the crypto market and vice versa, and many institutions are trying to capitalize on this. On March 17, 2021 the US banking giant, Morgan Stanley became the first major American bank to allow its wealthy clients to access Bitcoin, which would have sounded almost unbelievable just a few years ago. Albeit only offered to selective few, it is an important change in policy by allowing active participation into the new asset class. 

Standard Chartered targets the service to be made available in the fourth quarter of 2021 after obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals. They have named two individuals to helm the top executive position in this new entity: Usman Ahmad from BC Group will be appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Nick Philpott the current lead in SC Ventures will be appointed as the Chief Operations Officer (CEO). The head of SC Ventures is Alex Manson, who has demonstrated a strong belief in cryptocurrency.

Manson said, “We have a strong conviction that digital assets are here to stay and will be adopted by the institutional market as a highly relevant asset class,”

Alex Manson, the head of SC Ventures at Standard Chartered

The legacy bank could be steering the direction of cryptocurrency even further into the mainstream with their decision, perhaps more than what would seem at first glance. It is the positive reputation among global finance powers that crypto has gained that will make or break its long term future.

Standard Chartered a Forerunner in Crypto Space?

The banking giant’s decision to have a direct involvement in the crypto space is not new. In July, 2020 the company invested in the Swiss crypto infrastructure provider METACO. They participated in METACO’s Series A fundraising initiative, the proceeds of which will be allotted towards further research initiatives. METACO provides crypto related services such as custody, trading, and tokenization for financial institutions. The strategic move by SC Ventures seems to suggest that Standard Chartered has its sights set on providing the platform for token solutions to financial institutions worldwide. This move couldn’t be more timely as the crypto market capitalization currently stands at 1.83 trillion. 


“Absolute Inevitable”

The bank’s CEO, Bill Winters shared his view of the crypto sector at the Singapore Annual Fintech Festival in early December, 2020.

Winters said, “Those sorts of applications for a digital currency, and creating a digital currency ecosystem, is something that can’t be replicated by a fiat currency, or, most likely, by a central bank digital currency any time soon … I think there is a whole new world that’s opening up for us.” 

The common saying that ‘fortune favors the bold’ seems to ring true for the truly visionary foresight by the banking giant. There is a role that other institutions cannot replicate. That role is the bank’s role. The banks have a strong footing in the legacy system and the only way forward in embracing crypto assets is for the banks to open their doors. This will definitely lead to mainstream acceptance, as their user base trusts the bank, and will trust crypto if the bank ensures them of its qualities. Whilst other financial institutions may not have such bullish views, perceptions are fast changing. Goldman Sachs recently declared Bitcoin an official asset, which has tremendous implications as to the staying relevancy of crypto.

Crypto and Mainstream Adoption

The current climate of change in adoption of crypto assets can only be hampered by ill-conceived notions about cryptocurrencies and the solutions they provide. Once this can be ironed out, the next step will be to have a clear, progressive regulatory platform for institutional players to play an active role. Wherever this may take us, the next few years will be an interesting period. There is little room but upwards for the recognition of crypto to go, and finance could be on the precipice of a new dawn of transactions.

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