Standard Chartered Bank to Launch Crypto Trading Desk for Bitcoin and Ethereum

UTC by Chimamanda U. Martha · 3 min read
Standard Chartered Bank to Launch Crypto Trading Desk for Bitcoin and Ethereum
Photo: Depositphotos

Standard Chartered Bank, one of the leading global financial institutions headquartered in the United Kingdom, is preparing to enter the crypto trading market with the launch of a dedicated platform for spot traders.

According to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter, the firm is setting up a trading desk for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) services. The desk is expected to debut soon as it is almost completed.

Standard Chartered Makes History

Once the platform is introduced, the bank will become the first financial giant to offer Bitcoin and Ether spot trading services to customers. The new platform will be operated from London and will be part of the company’s FX trading unit known as WFX.

So far, other banking giants such as Goldman Sachs have been offering crypto derivatives services to customers since 2022. However, these companies have been unable to expand into the spot market due to stringent regulations imposed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

The committee proposed new regulatory measures for banks to apply a 1,250% risk weighting to any unhedged crypto exposure, making it difficult for firms to generate profits from their ventures.

Standard Chartered told Bloomberg that it has been working with regulators to ensure that institutional customers get the opportunity to trade cryptocurrencies:

“We have been working closely with our regulators to support demand from our institutional clients to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum, in line with our strategy to support clients across the wider digital asset ecosystem, from access and custody to tokenization and interoperability.”

Standard Chartered and Crypto

Despite becoming one of the first global banks to enter spot crypto trading, Standard Chartered has been engaging with the crypto economy.

In November 2023, the company rolled out a blockchain tokenization platform known as Libeara through its venture capital unit, SC Ventures.

The platform is currently among blockchain companies helping the Singaporean government explore the possibilities of developing a tokenized government bond using its fiat currency.

Standard Chartered has also made strategic investments in many crypto-native companies, including Zodia Custody and Zodia Markets. The bank owns substantial stakes in both companies, which offer custody services and over-the-counter trading to institutional customers.

Last year, the bank announced plans to launch crypto custody services for institutional investors to safeguard their BTC and Ether purchases in Dubai.

In May 2024, the bank revealed it had completed a Euro-denominated cross-border transaction between Hong Kong and Singapore on Partior, a blockchain global unified infrastructure market.

The company said it was the first Euro settlement bank to go live on the platform. However, its relationship with Partior began in November 2022 when the bank made a strategic investment in the Blockchain company.

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