Subject to regulatory approval, UAE based Standard Chartered has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to collaborate on digital assets, including digital asset custody through its Zodia Custody entity.

Standard Chartered plans to launch digital asset custody services, starting in DIFC and to cater to institutional clients worldwide. Standard Chartered is an early mover in developing services to provide custody of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.

Drawing on its international expertise in traditional custody, its new services will be powered by its subsidiary Zodia Custody, which has best-in-class operational and technical capabilities suited to needs of institutional clients.

The MOU was signed during the latest  Dubai FinTech Summit by Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, and Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered.

Winters said, “We see digital assets as an important part of the future of financial services, and we are committed to investing in the infrastructure and talent necessary to be a leader in this space. The UAE’s well-balanced approach to digital asset adoption and financial regulation makes it an ideal first market for us to launch our digital asset custody proposition.”

The Bank and DIFC will also collaborate on opportunities to promote a vibrant and thriving digital assets ecosystem that benefits Dubai and the wider UAE economy. The MoU will foster close cooperation for the Bank’s wider digital assets agenda in collaboration with the DIFC Innovation Hub, the region’s leading ecosystem for start-ups and scale ups.

Kazim, added, “The Dubai FinTech sector has emerged as a key driver of innovation and economic growth much in line with the Government’s Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) to become a top 4 global financial hub. DIFC welcome collaboration with partners such as Standard Chartered to further accelerate growth and enable collaboration that triggers innovation as we continue to shape the future of finance together.”