Capital markets News

National Australia Bank invests in StanChart’s Zodia Custody

national australia bank nab

Today Zodia Custody announced that the National Australia Bank became an investor via NAB Ventures. The digital asset custody startup was founded by Standard Chartered with one of the world’s largest global custodians, Northern Trust, as a minority investor. Japan’s SBI Holdings subsequently led a $36 million funding round, bringing the total funds raised to $68 million. At that stage StanChart held a 72% stake, Northern Trust 8% and SBI 20%.

We noticed an additional $5 million injection earlier this month, which may or may not be related to NAB’s investment. Our uncertainty is based on Zodia Custody’s parent raising additional capital a few weeks earlier. If NAB has invested $5 million, it gives it a 3.3% stake.

The news hasn’t come out of the blue because last year Zodia Custody announced it had set up shop in Australia, planning to serve local institutional clients. Around 26% of consumers have digital asset investments. At that stage Zodia Custody signed asset manager DigitalX as its first Australian client and NAB was running a proof of concept.

NAB shutters stablecoin venture

The latest news comes shortly after NAB has shuttered its stablecoin initiative AUDN, citing a lack of customer demand. This confirms its focus on enabling crypto custody.

“NAB Venture’s investment in Zodia was based on a range of factors including their innovative approach, institution-grade safety and strong work with regulators. We look forward to seeing Zodia Custody drive further innovation in the digital assets space.”

This week it was announced that the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) had approved the listing of a Van Eck spot Bitcoin ETF. Australia is in the process of formulating its digital asset laws.

“Incoming regulations will significantly change the landscape, similar to what we have seen in Hong Kong and Japan,” said Julian Sawyer, CEO of Zodia Custody. “This likely includes the segregation of assets, and requirements to hold them in cold storage — areas we are already way ahead of the curve on, having built our custody model on these principles while ensuring real-time access to move at the speed of the market and the highest levels of security.”

“Combined with the prospect of digital asset ETFs, Australia is set to enter an unprecedented period of innovation and adoption.

Meanwhile, Zodia Custody has been on a tear, landing several new high profile clients in the last few months, including Deutsche Bank’s DWS and Marathon Digital.