Standard Chartered and SBI Holdings have teamed up to establish a $100 million crypto investment initiative in the United Arab Emirates. The collaborative venture, designed as a joint partnership, aims to allocate crypto investment across various crypto domains such as decentralized finance, tokenization, infrastructure, payments, and the metaverse.
The initiative, covering seed to Series C funding rounds, intends to pursue global crypto investment, as disclosed by the two entities on Thursday.
The joint venture is set to engage in “strategic and minority investments” in cryptocurrency startups, according to Alex Manson, the CEO of SC Ventures. Manson stated, “The Joint Venture will leverage SC Ventures’ experience in digital assets through our ventures, such as Zodia Custody and Zodia Markets, and through our investments in fintechs like Ripple and Metaco.”
This collaboration unfolds amid a crypto market rebound, suggesting a potential bullish sentiment. With Bitcoin currently trading around $36,800, exhibiting a year-to-date gain exceeding 120%, and an uptick in spot crypto trading volume on centralized exchanges in October after a four-month decline, renewed interest in crypto investment is apparent. These metrics might indicate anticipation of the potential approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF early next year.
SBI Holdings is not only part of this initiative but is also gearing up to launch a separate fund, anticipated by the end of this year, to invest up to 100 billion yen ($663 million) in web3, AI, and fintech startups. Noteworthy financial institutions, including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mizuho Bank, Nippon Life Insurance, and Daiwa Securities Group, have reportedly committed to investing over 50 billion yen in the fund.
Decentralized finance (DeFi) takes center stage in the financial technology sector, challenging the conventional centralized banking system. Unlike centralized finance, where intermediaries charge fees for services, DeFi promotes peer-to-peer transactions through secure distributed ledgers, similar to those used in cryptocurrencies.
The rapidly expanding DeFi landscape includes applications such as stablecoins, lending/borrowing dApps, yield farms, decentralized exchanges, forecast services, digital asset management platforms, wrapped coins, and derivatives trading protocols.
As DeFi continues to reshape the financial landscape, it emphasizes reduced transaction times and increased accessibility to financial services, empowering individuals with secure digital wallets and facilitating peer-to-peer digital exchanges.
Popular DeFi applications include InstaDApp, BlockFi, and Compound.