Zodia Custody, the cryptocurrency custodian owned by British banking giant Standard Chartered, is set to launch its services in Hong Kong.

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Fast Facts

  • Julian Sawyer, the chief executive officer of Zodia, said in an interview with CNBC that the Hong Kong market is mainly driven by institutions, rather than retail customers.
  • “The Hong Kong government and the regulators see digital assets as the future and also want Hong Kong to be a hub,” Sawyer said.
  • Zodia launched its services for financial institutions in Singapore in early September, claiming to be the first bank-owned entity to provide institutional crypto custody services in the country.
  • The firm also launched its services in Japan and Australia earlier this year.
  • Zodia Custody is a London-headquartered digital asset custodian founded in 2020 by Standard Chartered. It had over US$825.8 billion in total assets as of October 2023, according to the firm’s third quarter financial report.
  • Standard Chartered is a London-headquartered multinational banking conglomerate founded in 1969 with over 653 branches and 83,000 employees worldwide.
  • Hong Kong has previously announced its ambitions to become a global crypto hub. Despite mainland China’s ban on crypto trading, the special administrative zone has adopted a more permissive regulatory attitude toward digital assets.  
  • However, that stance has encountered hurdles over recent months. Following a US$180 million fraud case at crypto exchange JPEX, the Hong Kong authorities tightened their regulatory stance toward crypto. 
  • Two of Hong Kong’s financial regulatory bodies issued a joint warning on Oct. 23 pointing to the risks that “complex” virtual asset products pose on retail investors. They advised intermediaries to only sell such assets to professional investors with the net worth to cover any financial losses.

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