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Standard Chartered Bank’s crypto custody arm Zodia Custody Ltd., has closed a $36 million funding round led by SBI Holdings. The funding will enable Zodia to expand its geographical presence and add support for more crypto assets, including staked ether (ETH). 

At a time when financial regulators in the United States are making life difficult for lenders exploring the potential of cryptocurrencies, London-based Standard Chartered Bank’s crypto custody arm, Zodia, has reached a new milestone.

According to sources, Zodia, which expanded operations to Japan as a joint venture with SBI Holdings last Feb., has completed a $36 million funding round led by the latter, making the 24-year-old Japanese financial services giant Zodia’s second-largest shareholder.

Zodia will use the funds to expand operations to other crypto-friendly jurisdictions, such as the Middle East, while expanding its offerings to include digital assets like staked ether, which the firm says is in high demand. 

Zodia avoiding the US 

The London-headquartered crypto custody platform noted that the US is not in its expansion plans for now due to the current crypto regulatory dark clouds in the country.

“As an industry, there’s a challenge in terms of which regulatory body is managing crypto, and what assets are classed as securities. We hope the US creates that clarity, but at the moment, it’s fair to say that it’s difficult to see what that will be in the next 12 to 18 months,”

Julian Sawyer, Zodia Custody CEO.

Regarding regulatory clarity, major US financial watchdogs like Gary Gensler’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have been criticized by web3 proponents for their harsh, albeit draconian enforcement-style crypto regulation.

Earlier this week, Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the US, filed a lawsuit against the SEC to compel the dreaded watchdog to make its securities laws more straightforward for market participants. 

With no solution to the regulatory onslaught against crypto in sight, web3 businesses in the US are now securing licenses abroad in preparation for their final exodus from the region if the situation gets worse. 

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