Standard Chartered picks Dubai to enter digital asset custody space

Standard Chartered picks Dubai to enter digital asset custody space

Standard Chartered on Wednesday signed an MoU with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to collaborate on digital assets, including digital asset custody—its newest service.

Subject to regulatory approval, Standard Chartered plans to launch digital asset custody services, starting in DIFC and to cater to institutional clients around the world. As a market leader in the Securities Services industry, Standard Chartered is an early mover in developing services to provide custody of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.

Drawing on its international expertise in traditional custody, the new services offered will be powered by its subsidiary Zodia Custody, with best-in-class operational and technical capabilities suited to needs of institutional clients.

The MoU was signed at the Dubai FinTech Summit by Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, and Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered. This development aligns with Dubai’s vision to be at the forefront of the future of finance.

Digital assets vital

In his comments, Bill Winters said that digital assets were an important part of the future of financial services and Standard Chartered was committed to investing in the infrastructure and talent to become a leader in this space. 

“The UAE has a well-balanced approach to digital asset adoption and financial regulation, making it an ideal first market for us to launch our digital asset custody proposition,” he said.

The Bank and DIFC will also collaborate on opportunities to promote a vibrant digital assets ecosystem to benefit Dubai and the wider UAE economy. The MoU will foster cooperation with the DIFC Innovation Hub, the region’s leading ecosystem for start-ups and scale ups.

Essa Kazim said that the Dubai FinTech sector has emerged as a key driver of innovation and economic growth, in line with the Government’s Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) to become a top 4 global financial hub.

“DIFC welcome[s] collaboration with partners such as Standard Chartered to further accelerate growth, [and] enable collaboration that triggers new innovation, as we continue to shape the future of finance together,” he said.

Standard Chartered was the platinum sponsor of the premier Dubai FinTech Summit which took place earlier this week. In 2006, Standard Chartered became the first bank within the DIFC to purchase its premises. 

Digital Assets 

IMF defines digital assets as digital representations of value, made possible by advances in cryptography and distributed ledger technology. They are denominated in their own units of account and can be transferred peer-to-peer without an intermediary. The industry’s estimated value hit $239 billion, as measured by total cryptocurrency market capitalisation. Digital assets are already disrupting traditional financial services, and they have a key role to play in the future growth of the sector. There are five types of digital assets: security tokens, utility tokens, cryptocurrencies, stable coins, and e-money tokens – available to consumers.

Global Business Magazine

Global Business Magazine

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