Standard Chartered Bank has revealed plans to offer institutional-grade digital assets custody services in Dubai via its subsidiary, Zodia Custody, pending regulatory approval.
Barely three months after reaching a definitive agreement with Japan’s SBI Digital Asset Holdings to set up a crypto custody platform in the region, Standard Chartered, a British multinational banking giant, is set to roll out the same service in crypto-friendly Dubai for institutional investors.
According to sources, Standard Chartered aims to start offering crypto custody services in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) once it secures regulatory approval from regional regulators.
The 54-year-old financial institution has reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the DIFC. If all goes as planned, Zodia Custody, a subsidiary of Standard Chartered which announced plans to roll out its earn product for institutional crypto holders last year, will be in charge of the proposed custody platform.
A well-balanced regulatory approach
Unlike jurisdictions such as the United States, where the major regulatory watchdogs are yet to formulate clear-cut and amenable digital assets regulation, authorities in the United Arab Emirates have taken a more relaxed and liberal approach towards crypto and blockchain regulation.
The UAE’s warm embrace of innovative technologies like web3 is fast, making it a hotbed for crypto market participants. So far, many bitcoin (BTC)-linked businesses, including Crypto.com, ByBit, Binance, and others, have obtained regulatory licenses from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) to operate in the city.
Commenting on the bank’s decision to launch a digital asset custody solution in Dubai, Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters stated that the bank sees digital assets as the future of financial services and the UAE is putting itself at the forefront of the web3 revolution through its “well-balanced approach” to crypto adoption and financial regulation, making the region the ideal destination for the bank’s crypto custody product.