Zodia Markets, Standard Chartered’s crypto subsidiary, is in talks to acquire Elwood Capital Management, a crypto company backed by hedge fund billionaire Alan Howard, Bloomberg reported, citing “people with knowledge of the matter.”

Although the deal has not been officially confirmed yet, it is reportedly expected to be closed before the end of this month. However, the financials and other details of the deal remain unknown.

An OTC Crypto Service Provider

Elwood Capital offers over-the-counter crypto trading and settlement services. It operates with licenses as a virtual asset provider and investment business based on the island of Jersey, an offshore territory of Britain.

The acquisition deal looks strategic as it would provide Zodia Markets with access to new licenses and open new markets. Zodia Markets can also expand its services to OTC settlements.

Zodia Markets is the crypto exchange arm set up in 2021 by the British multinational lender, Standard Chartered, as a joint venture between its venture capital subsidiary and Hong Kong’s BC Technology Group. However, the services were shuttered earlier this year due to the struggling demand for cryptocurrency products.

Last year, Zodia Markets closed its Series A funding round, raising $36 million. It also received virtual asset service provider registration in Ireland last year, a crypto asset registration from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority in July 2022 and in-principal approval from Abu Dhabi Global Markets in September 2023.

Standard Chartered’s Growing Presence in Crypto

Notably, Zodia Custody is an unrelated entity that provides cryptocurrency custodial services and is jointly owned by Standard Chartered, SBI Holdings, Northern Trust, and National Australia Bank. Interestingly, Standard Chartered is also reportedly looking to launch a dedicated Bitcoin trading desk, which, if materialised, would make it one of the first financial institutions to be directly involved with spot crypto trading.

Meanwhile, Brevan Howard Asset Management, the hedge fund of Alan Howard, is also focused on crypto as it listed several private holdings for sale in February, with the intention of reinvesting the earnings into its crypto subsidiary, Brevan Howard Digital.

This article was written by Arnab Shome at www.financemagnates.com.