Zodia: Hong Kong's Gateway To The Crypto Universe?
STANDARD CHARTERED PLC
Zodia Custody, a cryptocurrency security subsidiary of the British bank Standard Chartered Bank PLC (OTC:SCBFF), announced its expansion into Hong Kong.
This move signifies the company's continued efforts to establish a foothold in the Asia-Pacific market.
The forthcoming Benzinga's Future of Digital Assets conference on Nov. 14, which highlights the evolving digital landscape, may shed further light on such strategic expansions and their implications for the crypto industry.
Established in 2020, Zodia specializes in offering secure crypto storage solutions for financial institutions, CNBC reported.
Zodia CEO Julian Sawyer emphasized Hong Kong's unique crypto landscape, stating, “The Hong Kong government and the regulators see digital assets as the future and also want Hong Kong to be a hub.”
He further noted the city's crypto demand was predominantly institutional, which aligned well with Zodia's target clientele.
Zodia had recently been proactive in its Asian outreach, having launched services in countries such as Japan, Singapore and Australia.
The company's backers include financial heavyweights like Standard Chartered, Northern Trust and Japan’s SBI Holdings.
According to Sawyer, Hong Kong represented the final destination in Zodia's current Asia-Pacific strategy. He commented on the region's potential, noting, “What we’re seeing is there are absolutely clients in all of those four markets who want to do things.”
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In the broader context, Hong Kong's affinity for digital assets has grown, even as neighboring China clamped down on crypto activities, including bitcoin trading and mining, in 2021.
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has already rolled out a digital assets regulatory framework this year, providing a legitimate pathway for companies to offer regulated services.
Notably, only OSL Digital and Hash Blockchain have secured licenses from the SFC to date.
Zodia's venture into Hong Kong will be systematic. Initially, the firm aims to cater to Hong Kong clients with a select range of crypto assets.
Concurrently, discussions are underway with the SFC and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to secure regulatory clearance for Zodia in the city's financial precinct.
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