Standard Chartered, a major European bank, recently announced their plans to open a cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage platform in the UK and Europe.

The unit is aimed at institutional investors

According to a June 2 Reuters report, a StanChart PLC company is planning to launch a crypto trading and exchange platform in the UK and Europe. The crypto platform is being created as part of a joint venture between BC Technology Group, which operates the OSL crypto exchange licensed in Hong Kong, and SC Ventures (StanCharts innovation arm).

The exchange and broker platform would focus on the European market, according to the news report, connecting wealthy clients with counterparties trading BTC, ETH and other major digital assets.

StanChart’s plan to bring crypto to institutional traders is the latest confirmation of a major bank’s new asset class.

According to Alex Manson, Head of SC Ventures, the company’s innovation arm, plans for a crypto exchange and brokerage will target institutional clients.

“We strongly believe that digital assets will persist and be accepted by the institutional market as a highly relevant asset class. We are building the building blocks for a safe and reliable investment infrastructure, ”said Manson.

The platform is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of this year, with Usman Ahmad, Chief Information Officer of BC Group, serving as CEO and Nick Philpott of SC Ventures serving as COO.

Standard Chartered’s move to set up a crypto exchange and brokerage platform comes at a critical time as global acceptance and institutional demand for access and exposure to crypto continues to grow despite negative media attention and tightened regulations from countries like China.

Related article | How cryptocurrency wallets could replace banks

Wall Street continues crypto hug

The recent rise in the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, along with the Coinbase exchange’s listing on the Nasdaq exchange, has helped legitimize the asset class and soothed many critics.

Despite the recent decline in cryptocurrency markets, a number of Wall Street banks have made efforts over the past month to offer Bitcoin services to their customers.

NYDIG, a crypto custodian provider, announced on May 5 a service that will bring Bitcoin to hundreds of institutions across the United States. Thanks to a cooperation with the fintech company Fidelity National Information Services, customers of the participating US banks can buy, hold and trade BTC with their existing accounts.

Following this revelation, numerous large banking institutions began accepting cryptocurrencies after years of widespread resistance. Citibank announced May 7 that it was considering entering the lucrative cryptocurrency markets, citing the growing interest of its clientele.

Then, on May 10, UBS Group, a Swiss banking conglomerate, announced that it was reviewing numerous options to supply its wealthy clientele with cryptocurrency.

This move by Standard Chartered marks renewed interest in crypto from major banks.

BTC / USD has yet to crack $ 40,000 as it has fallen over 50%. Source: TradingView

Related article | Bank of England is embarking on cryptocurrencies … while considering CBDC

Featured image from PixaBay, charts from TradingView.