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Standard Chartered and Northern Trust Announce Zodia Custody Receives FCA Registration

LONDON – SC Ventures, the ventures and innovation arm of Standard Chartered, and Northern Trust, a leading asset servicing provider, announced today that Zodia Custody is now registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The registration means that Zodia Custody is now providing commercial services to clients as a cryptoasset business.

Zodia Custody, an institutional grade cryptoasset custody solution based in London, offers services to clients across the globe. Zodia Custody enables institutions to invest safely and securely in cryptoassets. Zodia Custody, developed by SC Ventures and Northern Trust, satisfies institutional investors’ need for a cryptoasset custodian that understands traditional custody and meets investors’ high standards and expectations, whilst maintaining the flexibility required to adapt to the ever-changing cryptoasset market.

Zodia Custody is one of nine cryptoasset businesses granted FCA registration under the UK’s Money Laundering Regulations and has commenced commercial operations following a period of testing.

Zodia’s registration with the FCA means the business is now supervised under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017. This regime brought cryptoassets into scope in January 2020 and is mandatory for all firms providing cryptoasset services in the UK.

Zodia Custody is providing custody services for the two most traded cryptoassets, Bitcoin and Ethereum, with plans to expand to more cryptoassets based on client demand.

Maxime De Guillebon, Chief Executive Officer, Zodia Custody said: “Zodia Custody marks an exciting development for the institutional custody market. We deliver bank-grade cryptoasset custody to a standard expected of world-leading global custodians, having been developed with long-established best practices and regulatory compliance in mind. By leveraging the best practices of Standard Chartered and Northern Trust, we give institutional clients the comfort that their and their investors’ assets are kept in a manner that is aligned with the more traditional asset markets. This underpins our mission to increase the accessibility of the cryptoasset market for a wider institutional audience.”

Alex Manson of SC Ventures said: “We believe cryptoassets as an asset class is here to stay. We set up Zodia Custody with the clear goal of serving institutional investors who want to invest in cryptoassets in a sustainable, safe and responsible way. Our aspiration is to lift standards, grow the ecosystem and help a nascent industry mature, becoming more acceptable to institutional investors and ultimately society at large.”

Pete Cherecwich, President, Corporate & Institutional Services, Northern Trust said: “Since the announcement of the launch of Zodia Custody in December 2020, we have seen significant market interest in these new capabilities. The FCA registration, alongside the successful operational testing with pilot clients, marks a significant milestone. We are pleased that Zodia’s robust capabilities now make it possible to support the growing number of institutional asset owners, family offices and asset managers around the world investing in this emerging asset class.”

Zodia Custody further establishes Standard Chartered and Northern Trust as leaders in the development of digital asset infrastructure. Alongside its partnerships with blockchain service providers, Standard Chartered has invested in core technology provider Metaco and is collaborating with the Bank of Thailand and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to explore distributed ledger interoperability for cross-border fund transfers. It most recently announced a partnership with BC Group this June to establish a digital asset brokerage and exchange platform for institutional and corporate clients in the UK and Europe.

Northern Trust has a record of focused investment in digital innovation, having launched the industry’s first deployment of blockchain technology for the private equity market in 2017. Working with key clients and regulators, Northern Trust continued to develop and implement additional capabilities on its blockchain and collaborated with Broadridge to make the technology available to all market participants. In 2020, Northern Trust and BondEvalue partnered to complete the first trade of a fractionalized blockchain-based bond, working in cooperation with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

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