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Standard Chartered Launches Spot Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) Trading Desk

Standard Chartered Launches Spot Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) Trading Desk

In a groundbreaking move, UK-based Standard Chartered is establishing a spot Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) trading desk. This new venture, set to operate out of London, will be part of the bank’s Foreign Exchange (FX) trading unit. This initiative marks Standard Chartered as one of the first global banks to delve into spot cryptocurrency trading, highlighting its progressive approach in the financial industry.

Introducing the Crypto Trading Desk

Standard Chartered’s new crypto trading desk will facilitate the direct purchase and sale of Bitcoin and Ethereum, two of the most prominent cryptocurrencies in the market. This positions the bank at the forefront of financial institutions offering direct trading services for these digital assets. While banks have been involved in crypto derivatives trading for several years, Standard Chartered’s move into spot trading is a significant development. For instance, in 2022, Goldman Sachs executed an over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trade with Galaxy Digital, a digital asset financial firm. Standard Chartered’s trading desk is expected to commence operations shortly.

Growing Demand for Bitcoin and Ethereum

The launch of this trading desk comes amid increasing demand for Bitcoin and Ethereum among institutional clients. This trend was significantly bolstered by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approving crypto-based Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), starting with spot Bitcoin ETFs. This approval led to a substantial increase in Bitcoin’s price, peaking at $73,000. Standard Chartered has cited this growing client demand as a key motivator for establishing the new trading desk.

In a statement, the bank noted, “We have been working closely with our regulators to support demand from our institutional clients to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum, in line with our strategy to support clients across the wider digital asset ecosystem, from access and custody to tokenization and interoperability.”

Standard Chartered’s Continued Crypto Involvement

Standard Chartered’s engagement with the cryptocurrency sector is extensive and well-documented. The bank supports Zodia Custody, a digital asset custodian, and Zodia Markets, its exchange platform. In November, Standard Chartered introduced Libeara, a tokenization platform aimed at tokenizing government bond funds using the Singaporean Dollar, further cementing its role in the Web3 ecosystem.

The bank’s analysts have made bold predictions about the future of Bitcoin, forecasting that it could reach $100,000 within the year and potentially $150,000 should Trump win the U.S. Presidential election. Additionally, Standard Chartered anticipates the approval of spot Ethereum ETFs by the SEC, with predictions set for May 23.

Standard Chartered’s forward-thinking approach and commitment to meeting client demand signify a significant shift in the traditional banking landscape, integrating the evolving digital asset market.

Stay tuned for more updates as Standard Chartered embarks on this pioneering venture in the cryptocurrency trading space.

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