- The Hong Kong government and regulators are embracing digital assets and aspire to position the city as a hub for the future of finance.
- Zodia's expansion in Hong Kong will follow a phased approach, initially offering services for a limited set of crypto assets to local clients.
- Zodia is actively engaged in discussions with Hong Kong's regulators to ensure compliance with the local financial regulatory framework.
According to CNBC report, Zodia Custody, a crypto security firm owned by British banking giant Standard Chartered, has unveiled its services in Hong Kong. This expansion marks Standard Chartered's latest foray into the Asia-Pacific region and demonstrates its commitment to the growing demand for secure crypto storage.
Zodia Custody, established in 2020, specializes in helping financial institutions securely manage their cryptocurrency holdings. Notably, its CEO, Julian Sawyer, emphasizes that Hong Kong's crypto market is primarily institution-driven, setting it apart from regions dominated by retail investors.
Sawyer stated, "The Hong Kong government and the regulators see digital assets as the future and also want Hong Kong to be a hub." This endorsement from regulatory authorities underscores the city's intention to position itself as a major player in the digital asset landscape.
Zodia has shown a strong appetite for expansion in the Asian market. In recent months, the firm has successfully launched its services in Japan, Singapore, and Australia, making Hong Kong the last stop on its Asia-Pacific tour. Sawyer noted that institutional interest in digital assets is robust across these markets.
He added, "We also see a lot of other clients and prospects outside those four jurisdictions that want to come in on the institutional side."
Hong Kong's growing embrace of cryptocurrency is in stark contrast to China's stringent stance. China has prohibited both bitcoin trading and mining since 2021. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) recently introduced a regulatory framework for digital assets, allowing companies to seek registration and operate within the bounds of regulation. Currently, only two companies, OSL Digital and Hash Blockchain, have received licenses from the SFC.
Zodia's expansion into Hong Kong will follow a phased approach, initially offering services for a limited set of crypto assets to local clients. The company is also actively engaged in discussions with the SFC and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority about regulatory compliance, reinforcing its commitment to operating within the financial district's regulatory framework.