UK-based Zodia Custody, whose shareholders include Standard Chartered, SBI Holdings and Northern Trust, has expanded its presence to Singapore, making it the first firm owned by and partnered with banks to provide digital asset custody services for financial institutions in the city-state.
The custodian, it says, seeks to expand across the Asia-Pacific region to cater to increased demand from institutions for bank-grade custody of digital assets, and to respond to existing client demand for its services in the region.
The firm arrives at a time when local regulators are seeking to build a better-defined digital asset ecosystem, with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently presenting a new framework for the use of digital money, including central bank digital currencies and stablecoins.
The MAS has also recently proposed draft legislation around how digital assets are safeguarded, paving the way for custodial services to become a key component of digital asset infrastructure in Singapore.
As a business created on the thesis of segregation of assets, the proposal means that the custodian, it argues, will be well placed to serve institutional needs for robust risk management and governance controls in the jurisdiction.
“Singapore is no stranger to digital assets, having long been a hub for financial technology innovation,” says Julian Sawyer, the custodian’s CEO. “But even in a mature market, challenges remain. Having been created by Standard Chartered Ventures, we have a deep understanding of institutional needs and requirements not just to enter the space, but thrive within it.”