Capital markets News

StanChart’s Zodia forms Japanese custody JV with SBI Digital Assets

Zodia custody SBI digital asset

Today Zodia Custody, one of Standard Chartered’s institutional digital asset subsidiaries, said it is launching a joint venture with SBI Digital Asset Holdings (SBIDAH), with SBI owning 51%. The newco will provide institutional digital asset custody in Japan, subject to regulatory approval.

SBI first disclosed that such a custody venture was in the works during an investor presentation in mid-2022, at the time mentioning that it might involve SBIDAH and SBI VC Trade, its cryptocurrency trading initiative. SBI and SC Ventures had already collaborated to create ecosystems for startups, including blockchain, crypto-assets, fintech and AI.

“We are delighted to have built a relationship with Zodia Custody that centres on building trust with our clients through financial strength, technological and operational expertise, and a shared alignment with market regulations for digital assets,” said Fernando Luis Vazquez Cao, CEO of SBI DAH. “We believe our partnership with Zodia is a unique global proposition to institutional clients.”

Zodia Custody was first unveiled in 2020, with top-10 global custodian Northern Trust having a 5% stake in the venture. Standard Chartered also has a trading initiative, Zodia Markets.

SBI’s global digital asset reach

Like Standard Chartered, SBI has a digital asset presence and is extremely prolific in its activities. SBI DAH subsidiaries include Singapore-based SBI Digital Markets for issuance, in which Thailand’s SCB 10X is also an investor. AsiaNext is the Singapore digital asset trading joint venture with the Swiss exchange SIX. SBIDAH now also houses SBI’s investment in Boerse Stuttgart Digital, the German crypto exchange and custody solution. Crypto market maker B2C2 was acquired by the Japanese group. SBI Holdings recently also inked a digital assets deal with CBOE.

On the digital securities side, SBI has launched the Osaka Digital Exchange with plans to start trading security tokens this year. It’s an investor in multiple tokenized securities platforms in Japan, including MUFG’s Progmat and Nomura’s Boostry.

In 2021 SBI Group’s CEO Yoshitaka Kitao outlined SBI’s global ambitions in digital assets. With these various ventures, SBI’s digital asset tentacles stretch across large parts of Asia (Singapore, Japan, Thailand), the United States and Europe, with alliances in Switzerland, Germany and now the UK.

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