British bank Standard Chartered has initiated a spot cryptocurrency trading operation in London, catering to institutional investors with a focus on Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The trading desk, integrated within the bank’s existing foreign exchange (FX) division, is a direct response to the increasing demand from institutional clients and signifies a major leap in incorporating cryptocurrencies into conventional banking offerings.

The launch reflects Standard Chartered’s dedication to adhering to regulatory standards and its ambition to facilitate the wider digital asset ecosystem, encompassing services such as access, custody, tokenization, and interoperability.

The bank’s foray into the cryptocurrency sector is part of a broader engagement, including investments in digital asset enterprises Zodia Custody and Zodia Markets, and the recent establishment of a blockchain-focused division, Libeara, under its venture arm SC Ventures.

Unlike other banks that have limited their crypto activities to derivatives, Standard Chartered’s direct spot trading indicates a more profound commitment to the digital asset domain.