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Zodia Markets Expands with Elwood Capital Acquisition

Zodia Markets, a crypto subsidiary of Standard Chartered Plc, is set to acquire part of a digital-asset business backed by billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard as reported by Bloomberg. This strategic move will enhance Zodia Markets’ services and expand its reach in the digital asset market.

Details of the Acquisition

Zodia Markets is finalizing an agreement to acquire Jersey-based Elwood Capital Management Ltd. Elwood Capital offers over-the-counter trading and settlement services. The deal, expected to close this month, will give Zodia Markets licenses as a virtual asset service provider and investment business in Jersey. This acquisition aligns with Standard Chartered’s push into digital assets, including plans to set up a trading desk for Bitcoin and Ether.

Zodia Markets’ Strategy Shift

Elwood Capital is part of Elwood Technologies, founded by Brevan Howard Asset Management co-founder Alan Howard in 2018. Elwood Technologies raised $70 million in 2022 from investors like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Despite reporting a loss of $16.9 million for the fiscal year ending March 2023, the company remains a significant player in digital asset infrastructure.

Standard Chartered’s Digital Asset Vision

Standard Chartered launched Zodia Markets in 2021 as a joint venture with Hong Kong’s BC Technology Group. Despite initial challenges and low trading volumes, Zodia Markets shifted focus to high-speed, wholesale cross-border settlement services between fiat currencies and stablecoins. This strategy has led to a significant increase in OTC settlement operations, now exceeding $50-$60 million a day.

ADGM In-Principle Approval

Zodia Markets, in September 2023, received In-Principle Approval from Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to operate as a cryptocurrency broker-dealer within the UAE’s over-the-counter (OTC) market. This approval is a significant step towards enhancing their presence in the Middle East.

Expansion in the Middle East

In April, Co-Founder and Head of Partnerships Nick Philpott relocated to Abu Dhabi, highlighting Zodia Markets’ commitment to the region. Philpott joins a team of senior executives already based in the UAE, emphasizing the company’s dedication to the local market and its clients.

Unlock Blockchain reached out to Zodia Markets for comments on the acquisition plan but has not yet received a response.

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