Standard Chartered Enters Crypto Market with New Bitcoin Trading Desk

Standard Chartered Enters Crypto Market with New Bitcoin Trading Desk

Standard Chartered Launches New Bitcoin Trading Desk

In a groundbreaking move, Standard Chartered is set to launch a dedicated Bitcoin trading desk, becoming one of the first major global banks to offer direct Bitcoin trading services. The new desk, which will operate in London, is a significant development in the bank’s strategy to cater to the burgeoning institutional demand for cryptocurrency investments.

This initiative positions the bank as a pioneer among traditional financial institutions in integrating cryptocurrency trading into its services. The new trading desk will operate within the bank’s FX trading unit, per the official statement.

The announcement also noted that Standard Chartered has worked closely with regulators to facilitate this venture. This regulatory engagement ensures compliance and supports the bank’s goal of offering its institutional clients secure and reliable BTC and ETH trading options.

This move is part of a broader effort by financial institutions to adapt to the evolving market landscape, where digital assets are becoming integral to investment portfolios.

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Expanding Cryptocurrency Services

Standard Chartered’s foray into direct Bitcoin trading complements its existing crypto-related services. It already provides cryptocurrency custody services through its investment in Zodia Custody.

Additionally, it has a stake in Zodia Markets, which focuses on trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at the institutional level. The new trading desk is a natural extension of these services, enabling the bank to offer a comprehensive suite of crypto-related products.

The ripple effect of this initiative is that other major banks are likely to follow suit, launching their trading desks to remain competitive. The timing of this announcement coincides with the increasing acceptance and approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in major markets such as the US, UK, Hong Kong, and Australia. The availability of these financial products has significantly boosted institutional confidence in Bitcoin, driving demand for direct trading services.

Bitcoin Slips Below $64K Amid Prolonged Negative Sentiment

Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s (BTC) price has experienced a notable decline, dropping below $64,000 and reaching a five-week low of $63,700, per on-chain data. This marks a 9% decrease over the past month, with a more than 3% drop in the last 24 hours.

Analytical firm Santiment reports that broader sentiment towards Bitcoin has been in the “extreme negative” territory for four consecutive weeks. This metric, which tracks Bitcoin mentions on social media platforms and compares the ratio of positive to negative comments, currently shows -0.73.

According to Santiment, such sustained fear and disinterest are rare and often precede market rebounds, as traders’ capitulation tends to attract whale accumulation and eventually lead to a price rally. Another contributor to the bearish sentiment is the declining retail interest in Bitcoin.

Data from Google Trends indicates a steady drop in worldwide searches for “Bitcoin” since March 2024. Historically, such declines correlate with lower market enthusiasm and price drops. The recent slump in Bitcoin’s price can also be linked to substantial outflows from US spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

This week alone, approximately $900 million has been withdrawn from these products, nearing the total net outflows of $1.2 billion recorded between April 24 and May 2. These outflows indicate a lack of confidence among institutional investors.

Market Forces at Play

Moreover, several macroeconomic factors have influenced Bitcoin’s recent performance. The strengthening of the US dollar and a strong performance by the US technology index have diverted investor funds away from Bitcoin.

Additionally, massive volume sales by top Bitcoin holders have contributed to the downward pressure on its price. Despite the bearish sentiment, some market analysts maintain a long-term bullish outlook for Bitcoin. Historically, significant price rebounds have followed extended periods of negative sentiment.

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Cecil Felix
About Author

Cecil Felix

Cecil Felix, a vanguard in crypto journalism, provides incisive perspectives on the digital currency frontier. With a talent for distilling complex blockchain phenomena into digestible insights, Cecil's articles are a touchstone for enthusiasts and experts. His depth and clarity solidify his reputation as a leading crypto commentator

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