Zodia Custody, a cryptocurrency storage provider and a subsidiary of Standard Chartered (STAN), has launched in Singapore, to provide digital asset custody services for financial institutions, the firm announced on Tuesday.
It has set up a company called Zodia Custody (Singapore) Pvt. Limited and appointed former Bitgo managing director Kai Kano as its first CEO.
Custody in Singapore is not a licenced activity yet and therefore Zodia Custody does not need a licence but it wants to be in pole position for when the time comes.
"We want to be where there is a global financial centre as soon as we have a regulatory roadmap that enables us to spend our dollars and invest in a market and that provides the assurance to our clients that we can operate there," said Zodia Custody CEO Julian Sawyer in an interview to CoinDesk.
The development marks a rare marriage of a traditional financial institution and a digital asset firm in Singapore. Zodia Custody is already registered in the U.K., Ireland, Luxembourg and has an application pending in Japan.
Earlier this month, Zodia Markets, a separate entity which is a digital asset marketplace, also backed by Standard Chartered Ventures, was granted approval in principle to operate as an over-the-counter (OTC) crypto broker-dealer in Abu Dhabi.
Standard Chartered has been working in collaboration with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and other financial institutions on an initiative called Project Guardian to test asset tokenization. Standard Chartered is also developing an initial token offering platform to issue asset-backed security tokens listed on the Singapore Exchange.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.