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Standard Chartered jumps into crypto trading after HSBC darts away

Standard Chartered is hopping on the crypto trading bandwagon.

The British banking giant today announced that its innovation unit, SC Ventures, will launch a digital asset brokerage and exchange platform for institutional clients in Europe.

StanChart is establishing the venture alongside BC Technology Group, the parent company of Hong Kong-licensed digital-asset platform OSL.

The partnership will be based in the UK and offer trading in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital assets.

Alex Mason, the head of SC Ventures, said the platform will enable safe adoption and trading by the world’s largest investors:

We have a strong conviction that digital assets are here to stay and will be adopted by the institutional market as a highly relevant asset class.

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The project brings another financial giant into the crypto trading fray.

Mira Christanto, an analyst at data provider Messari, tweeted that the move “will catapult crypto adoption by 10 years.”

However, not every major financial institution shares StanChart’s faith in digital assets. The bank’s arch-rival, HSBC, revealed last week that it’s got no plans to launch a crypto trading desk or offer clients virtual currencies due to the market’s volatility.

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Tech News

HSBC CEO says no thanks to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

In an interview with Reuters, HSBC CEO Noel Quinn made it clear that the banking giant has no plans to support Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies anytime soon. According to Reuters, the bank does not intend to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk or offer it as an investment option.

The reasoning is what you’ve heard a million times by now: they’re just too volatile. Specifically, Quinn says:

“Given the volatility we are not into Bitcoin as an asset class, if our clients want to be there then of course they are, but we are not promoting it as an asset class within our wealth management business. For similar reasons, we’re not rushing into stable coins.”

That said, Quinn says he approves of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which he claims “can facilitate international transactions” and “are likely to operate in a transparent manner.” CBDCs, however, lose much of the appeal of decentralized cryptocurrencies.

The comments from Europe’s largest bank will come as a blow to some crytpocurrency enthusiasts, but not everyone is feeling the same way.

Rival Goldman Sachs today announced it officially considers Bitcoin a new kind of investable asset class. This is despite the recent crashes in Bitcoin prices, which have been cut in half from their peak in April, largely influenced by Tesla’s flip–floppy stance on the currency.

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