BC Group CIO moves into a CEO position.
SC Ventures, the innovation and ventures unit of Standard Chartered, and BC Technology Group (BC Group), Asia’s leading digital asset company and parent of Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)-licensed digital-asset platform OSL, have partnered to establish a digital asset brokerage and exchange platform for institutional and corporate clients in the UK and Europe.
BC Group CIO Usman Ahmad will be CEO of the new company, and Nick Philpott of SC Ventures will be COO.
The joint venture will be underpinned by BC Group’s leading OSL digital-asset technology and Standard Chartered’s global network and experience in brokerage and providing access to European markets.
Based in the UK, and initially targeting the European market, the company will connect institutional traders to counterparties across markets, delivering access to deep pools of liquidity in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital assets. The joint venture aims to launch in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.
Usman Ahmad, CIO of BC Group and incoming CEO of the new joint venture, said total market capitalisation of digital assets over US$1 trillion, collaboration between market-leading firms is imperative to the continued development of robust global institutional digital asset infrastructure.
“JV will aid in maturing the digital asset ecosystem by combining OSL’s expertise in regulatory compliant, secure institutional digital asset trading with SC Ventures’ proven capability to develop future technology capabilities in banking and finance,” he said.
Digital-asset trading has expanded significantly since 2017, with a total market capitalisation greater than US$1 trillion in early June 2021. The total value of trading volume on major digital-asset exchanges averages over USD4 billion per day.
This growth has drawn the attention of institutional customers, many of whom are now looking to access the asset class for the first time.
The JV further cements Standard Chartered and BC Group as leaders in the development of global digital-asset infrastructure. In December 2020, SC Ventures announced a strategic partnership with Northern Trust to launch Zodia Custody, an institutional-grade custody solution for digital assets. Zodia is designed to enable institutions to invest in digital assets that are transforming how financial markets operate, including transaction and settlement.
In addition, Standard Chartered has invested in core blockchain technology provider Metaco and is collaborating with the Bank of Thailand and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to explore distributed ledger interoperability for cross-border fund transfers.
BC Group is the parent company of OSL, Asia’s leading digital asset platform, which in December 2020 was the first firm to receive a Type 1 (dealing in securities) and 7 (automated trading service), from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). It is now the world’s first SFC-licensed, listed, digital asset wallet-insured, Big-4 audited digital asset trading platform for institutions and professional investors.
OSL offers customers secure and compliant trading access to Bitcoin, Ethereum and other high-quality digital assets, along with select security token offerings (STOs). Its SFC-licensed subsidiary, OSL Digital Securities, made history in March when it executed Hong Kong’s first-ever licensed digital-asset trades.
BC Technology Group is one of Asia’s leading public fintech and digital asset company. It is the parent company of OSL, the region’s most comprehensive licensed digital asset platform.
OSL is the world’s first and only insured and SFC-licensed digital asset platform, providing brokerage, custody, exchange and SaaS services for institutional clients and professional investors. The company offers OTC, iRFQ and electronic trading services giving traders access to the world’s deepest liquidity pools, as well as secure and insured wallets to ensure the safekeeping of digital assets with timely transaction settlement.
BC Group and the OSL platform are enabling institutional adoption of the digital asset class, setting standards for performance, security and compliance.