Standard Chartered’s investment arm has teamed up with SBI Holdings to invest $100 million in crypto startups, covering seed to Series C funding rounds.
Standard Chartered, a London-based bank, has bet big on crypto over the past year. Today, SC Ventures, the investment arm of the bank, announced that it’s teamed up with SBI Holdings, a Japanese financial services giant, to set up a $100 million crypto investment vehicle.
The vehicle will be based in the UAE and will invest in a range of Web3 services around the world, including DeFi, metaverse, and tokenisation more broadly. The fund will invest in seed to Series C funding rounds.
Alex Manson, CEO of SC Ventures, said in a statement that the venture will make “strategic and minority investments” and will “leverage SC Ventures’ experience in digital assets through our ventures, such as Zodia Custody and Zodia Markets, and through our investments in fintechs like Ripple and Metaco.”
Last month, Standard Chartered revealed it will soon launch a highly-anticipated crypto custody service in Dubai, catering to institutional clients.
The UAE is positioning itself as a global crypto hub, with a growing number of institutions setting up base there. In October, Standard Chartered expressed that the nation is a far more welcoming jurisdiction than other nations in terms of crypto regulation.
“Back in 2018, when places like Singapore and the UAE were busy consulting on crypto assets, some other regions had not even made the distinction between a security and non-security status when it came to crypto assets,” said Waqar Chaudry, executive director of innovation at Standard Chartered.
“For that reason, now we see the difference in maturity in markets where countries like the UAE, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong are beginning to move faster,” he added.
2023 has seen an influx of institutional adoption
Over the past month, a range of banking giants around the world have unveiled new crypto offerings, including HSBC, KBank, DZ Bank and more.
Sentiment has been boosted by the anticipation of the SEC approving a spot Bitcoin ETF, which would trigger a wave of further institutional adoption.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading at $36,707 – a new 18-month high.
This represents a 33% increase from last month, and an impressive 97% gain from last year.
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