Zodia Custody, the crypto security firm owned by British banking giant Standard Chartered, is set to launch its services in Hong Kong. As highlighted in a CNBC report, this strategic decision underscores Zodia’s commitment to penetrating the burgeoning Asian crypto market, targeting institutions rather than retail customers.
Zodia Custody’s Expansion in Asia-Pacific
Zodia Custody’s expansion into Hong Kong follows a series of strategic moves across the Asia-Pacific region. In recent months, the company has already opened its services in Japan, Singapore, and Australia. Notably, Zodia is part-owned by Standard Chartered, as well as by financial heavyweights Northern Trust and Japan’s SBI Holdings.
Julian Sawyer, CEO of Zodia, emphasized in the report that he believes that Hong Kong’s government and regulators are forward-thinking in their approach to digital assets, recognizing their potential to shape the future of finance. Hong Kong is the final destination on Zodia’s tour of the Asia-Pacific region, according to Sawyer.
Sawyer expressed enthusiasm about the opportunities presented by these Asian markets, stating, “What we’re seeing is there are absolutely clients in all of those four markets who want to do things. We also see a lot of other clients and prospects outside those four jurisdictions that want to come in on the institutional side.”
Zodia Custody Engages With Regulators
Zodia’s expansion into Hong Kong will follow a phased approach, initially focusing on providing services for Hong Kong clients involving a limited set of crypto assets.
The company is also in ongoing discussions with both the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to explore regulatory approval in the financial district, a move that would further solidify Zodia’s position as a trusted custodian in the Hong Kong crypto market.
Hong Kong’s Crypto Regulatory Stance
Hong Kong’s regulatory stance towards crypto assets has been evolving, even in the face of China’s broader anti-crypto measures, which included the banning of Bitcoin trading and mining in 2021.
The Hong Kong SFC introduced a regulatory framework for digital assets earlier this year, allowing companies to apply for registration and offer their services in a regulated manner. However, as of now, only two firms, OSL Digital, and Hash Blockchain, have been granted licenses by the SFC.