Standard Chartered’s crypto arm eyes buying billionaire’s crypto OTC firm: Report

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Zodia Markets, the crypto subsidiary of British multinational bank Standard Chartered, is reported to be in talks to buy Elwood Capital Management, a crypto firm backed by billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard.

The deal between Zodia Markets and Elwood Capital — which offers over-the-counter crypto trading and settlement services — is expected to close before the end of this month, Bloomberg reported on July 9, citing people familiar with the matter.

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Zodia Market’s acquisition of Elwood Capital would provide the firm with licenses as a virtual asset provider and investment business in Jersey — an island British crown dependency off the coast of Northern France — one person familiar with the deal said.

This would reportedly bolster Zodia’s ongoing efforts to focus on OTC settlement services.

Zodia Markets is a crypto exchange launched by Standard Chartered in 2021, a joint venture between the bank’s venture capital subsidiary and Hong Kong’s BC Technology Group.

It shuttered its services earlier this year due to tepid demand for crypto products, the firm’s CEO Usman Ahmad told Bloomberg in June.

Related: Standard Chartered expects SEC to greenlight spot Ether ETF this week

Howard, the billionaire hedge fund manager of Brevan Howard Asset Management, put up several of his private holdings in crypto companies up for sale in February, with the intention to reinvest the earnings into Brevan Howard Digital, the crypto subsidiary of the hedge fund.

Standard Chartered has been making efforts to expand its footprint in the crypto industry. On June 21, it was reported the bank may be looking to launch its own trading desk for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

Source: Richard Teng

If launched, this would see Standard Chartered become one of the first global banking institutions to become involved in the spot trading of cryptocurrencies.

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