Crypto Custodian Company Zodia Expands into Singapore

UTC by Chimamanda U. Martha · 3 min read
Crypto Custodian Company Zodia Expands into Singapore
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The company disclosed that its expansion into Singapore is not an isolated endeavor but a part of its broader global strategy.

In a bid to cater to the surging demand for secure digital asset storage solutions in the Asia-Pacific region, Zodia Custody, a crypto storage provider and subsidiary of Standard Chartered Bank, has made its official entry into the market of Singapore, CNBC reported Tuesday.

With this strategic move, the company has become the first bank-owned corporate entity to offer digital asset custody services to financial institutions in the country.

Safeguarding Digital Wealth for Institutions

According to the report, Zodia’s foray into Singapore aims to address the pressing need for robust and trusted digital asset custody services among institutions operating in the emerging economy. As Singapore’s crypto market continues to flourish, institutions such as hedge funds, high-frequency traders, prime brokers, exchanges, and asset managers are seeking reliable partners to safeguard their digital wealth.

The firm, backed by the reputable financial institution Standard Chartered, brings expertise in risk management, compliance frameworks, information security, and operational resilience. This strategic advantage ensures that Zodia can offer its clients the peace of mind that comes with a bank-grade custody solution.

No Stranger to the Crypto Industry

The company described the expansion into Singapore as an important step, noting that the country is “getting to that next level of maturity” in forming rules for crypto assets and developing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Additionally, Zodia’s CEO Julian Sawyer told CNBC that the crypto custody provider wants to be part of the nation’s broader market, adding that bank-owned custody is what the market needs.

“Singapore is a market that has been no stranger to the crypto world for a long time. We want to be part of it. We think that the market of a bank-owned custodian is actually what the market is wanting,” said Sawyer.

Singapore has firmly established itself as a global leader in digital finance, boasting a crypto ownership rate of 19%, surpassing the global average of 15%, according to data from Statista. The robust adoption of digital assets is further underscored by the continued influx of funding into the country’s crypto sector despite challenges faced by the industry.

Last year, crypto and blockchain reigned supreme in the country’s fintech investment landscape, securing a remarkable $1.2 billion in funding, as reported by KPMG’s Pulse of Fintech report for the second half of 2022. While this figure represented a 21% decline compared to the previous year, it signals Singapore’s crypto market’s enduring strength and appeal. The country also recently introduced a crypto regulatory framework for stablecoins.

Global Expansion and Collaborative Ventures

Zodia disclosed that its expansion into Singapore is not an isolated endeavor but a part of its broader global strategy. The crypto custody provider is already registered in key financial centers, including the UK, Ireland, and Luxembourg, with a pending application in Japan. Furthermore, it recently revealed a joint venture with SBI Holdings to offer custody services in Japan. The company raised $36 million in funding to promote its business offerings.

Moreover, Zodia’s reach extends beyond the Asia-Pacific region. Earlier this month, a separate entity, Zodia Markets, a digital asset marketplace backed by Standard Chartered Ventures, received in-principle approval to operate as an over-the-counter (OTC) crypto broker-dealer in Abu Dhabi. This strategic move positions Zodia to capitalize on Abu Dhabi’s crypto-friendly regulatory environment and its status as a significant financial center.

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