SC Ventures, the fintech investment arm of Standard Chartered, is set to establish a “Digital Asset Joint Venture” investment company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The collaboration with Japanese financial conglomerate SBI Holdings signals a strategic foray into diverse sectors, including market infrastructure, risk management, compliance tools, DeFi, tokenization, consumer payments, and the metaverse.
Fintech’s footprint expands
While recognizing the UAE as a burgeoning hub for fintech due to its robust infrastructure and talent pool, the joint venture aims to transcend regional limitations. Alex Manson, CEO of SC Ventures, envisions exploring global opportunities within the emerging digital asset ecosystem. This move aligns with the broader trend of financial institutions looking beyond borders to capitalize on the evolving landscape of digital assets.
Crypto custody and Central Bank digital currency
Delving into the crypto custody business, Standard Chartered has been making strategic moves. The bank’s memorandum of understanding with the Dubai International Financial Centre in May 2023 paved the way for digital asset custody services worldwide. Additionally, through the joint venture with SBI Holdings, the institutional cryptocurrency custody platform Zodia was launched in Hong Kong, supporting 38 cryptocurrencies and expanding its services to Japan, Singapore, and Australia.
Beyond crypto custody, Standard Chartered is actively engaging with the digital economy. Collaborating with PricewaterhouseCoopers China, the bank produced a white paper on the applications of central bank digital currency in the Greater Bay Area of China. This multifaceted approach showcases Standard Chartered’s commitment to navigating the complexities of the digital financial landscape.
In conclusion, Standard Chartered’s SC Ventures, in collaboration with SBI Holdings, is positioning itself at the forefront of fintech innovation with the establishment of a Digital Asset Joint Venture in the UAE.
The move reflects the growing importance of digital assets in the financial sector and the strategic vision of financial institutions in adapting to the evolving landscape.