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Standard Chartered Partners Northern Trust To Launch Crypto Custody

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British bank Standard Chartered's innovation unit SC Ventures is partnering U.S.-based financial services firm Northern Trust Corp. to launch institutional-grade custody for cryptocurrencies in 2021. The cryptocurrency custodian for institutional investors will be called "Zodia Custody."

The Zodia crypto custody platform is expected to begin operations in London in 2021, subject to registration with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), all applicable regulatory filings and customary closing conditions. The platform has already initiated the process of registering.

At launch, Zodia will provide custody services for the most-traded cryptocurrency assets - Bitcoin, Ethereum, followed by XRP, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. These assets account for about 80 percent of the total assets traded on the top cryptocurrency exchanges.

Standard Chartered said institutional investors account for only 9 percent of investments in cryptocurrencies at present. The roll out of custody service is a result of increasing interest from them.

Zodia is designed to enable institutions to invest in the emerging cryptocurrency assets that are transforming how financial markets operate, including transaction and settlement activities. It combines the traditional custody principles and expertise of a bank with the agility of a fintech company to meet the high standards and expectations of institutional investors.

According to Research and Markets' Cryptocurrency Market Report of April 2020, cryptocurrencies already represent 0.3 percent of the world's currency and bank deposits and are forecast to continue growing with a CAGR of 32 percent from 2019 to 2024.

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