Standard Chartered Crypto Arm in Talks to Acquire OTC Crypto Trading Firm

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Zodia Markets, the crypto division of British banking behemoth Standard Chartered, is allegedly in advanced talks to buy Elwood Capital Management. Backed by famous billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard, Elwood Capital is well-known for its over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trading and settlement tools.

Standard Chartered Seeks Crypto Exposure?

Anticipated for completion by the end of this month, the deal could greatly improve Zodia Markets’ position in the digital asset industry. Bloomberg claims, referencing sources familiar with the issue, the purchase would give the Standard Chartered subsidiary essential licenses as a virtual asset supplier and investment company in Jersey, a British crown possession off the coast of Northern France. 

This calculated action is supposed to increase Zodia’s emphasis on OTC settlement services, which are becoming more and more important in the changing crypto scene.

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What is Zodia Markets?

Originally intending to provide a strong platform for institutional investors to trade cryptocurrencies, Zodia Markets was started in 2021 as a joint venture by the venture capital unit of Standard Chartered and Hong Kong’s BC Technology Group. 

But early this year the platform encountered difficulties, which resulted in a temporary suspension of its offerings due to inadequate demand for cryptocurrency items. This was revealed by Zodia Markets CEO Usman Ahmad in a June Bloomberg interview.

Alan Howard Changing Tactics

Alan Howard is changing his investment approach, thus the acquisition of Elwood Capital coincides with that. Howard opted in February to sell some of his private interests in cryptocurrency companies, intending to reinvest the earnings into Brevan Howard Digital, the crypto affiliate of his hedge fund. 

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This turn emphasizes the increasing relevance of digital assets in the financial scene and Howard’s will to establish his company’s leading edge in this field. Standard Chartered, on the other hand, has been aggressively growing in the bitcoin sector.

Reports leaked on June 21 suggesting the bank might be thinking of opening a Bitcoin and Ethereum trading department. Should this project materialize, Standard Chartered would be among the first worldwide banks to participate in spot trading of cryptocurrencies, therefore attesting to a major turning point in the inclusion of digital assets into conventional banking.

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