Zodia, the institutional cryptocurrency custody platform co-owned by British banking giant Standard Chartered, Japanese SBI Holdings and the financial firm Northern Trust, is expanding its services to Hong Kong.

Zodia Custody is launching services in Hong Kong in response to growing demand for crypto from institutions, Zodia CEO Julian Sawyer said, according to a CNBC report on Oct. 29.

According to Sawyer, the crypto demand in Hong Kong is mainly driven by institutional investors rather than retail customers, ideally matching Zodia’s crypto custody offering. He also mentioned that Hong Kong’s stance on crypto aligns with Zodia’s ambitions as the local government “sees digital assets as the future and also wants Hong Kong to be a hub.”

Zodia’s launch in Hong Kong comes as the firm aggressively scales operations in Asia, opening services in Japan, Singapore and Australia in recent months.

“What we’re seeing is there are absolutely clients in all of those four markets who want to do things,” Zodia CEO said, adding:

“We also see a lot of other clients and prospects outside those four jurisdictions that want to come in on the institutional side.”

According to the report, Zodia will gradually roll out its services in Hong Kong, initially offering support for a limited number of cryptocurrency assets. The firm is reportedly in discussions with Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission and Hong Kong Monetary Authority about becoming regulated in the financial district, the report notes.

Related: Hong Kong securities regulator updates crypto policies, citing market developments

Zodia did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

As previously reported, Standard Chartered originally announced plans to launch an institutional custodial platform for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) in late 2020. Launched in 2021, Zodia raised $36 million in a Series A funding round led by SBI Holdings in April 2023. The platform supports 38 cryptocurrencies, including BTC, Ether (ETH) as well as stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and USDC (USDC).

Magazine: Chinese police vs. Web3, blockchain centralization continues: Asia Express

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