Standard Chartered Bank CEO sees widespread cryptocurrency adoption

By Kevin Helms |

Standard Chartered Bank CEO Bill Winters sees the adoption of digital currencies as “absolutely inevitable.” He says there is a role for both private digital currencies and state-backed ones. His bank subsequently announces that it is launching a crypto custody service, supporting a number of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and ethereum.

Standard Chartered Bank CEO Sees Opportunities in Cryptocurrencies

The chief executive officer of Standard Chartered, Bill Winters, shared his views on digital currencies at Singapore’s annual Fintech Festival this week. Headquartered in London, Standard Chartered is a large British financial services company with about 1,026 branches worldwide.

Winters was appointed Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered PLC in June 2015 and Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank in April last year. Beginning his career with JP Morgan, he previously served as an advisor to the British Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.

The Standard Chartered Bank CEO was quoted by CNBC as saying on Monday:

I think there is absolutely a role for central bank digital currencies as well as non-central bank-sponsored digital currencies.

He noted that the digital currency rollout would be led by both private and government-backed entities, adding that his bank will soon announce some news “along these lines.”

Following his comments, Standard Chartered announced Wednesday that it has partnered with asset servicing provider Northern Trust to launch a cryptocurrency custodian service for institutional investors. The platform plans to support bitcoin, ethereum, XRP, litecoin, and bitcoin cash.

Winters further explained at the Fintech Festival that he sees the biggest opportunity in digital currencies in “new, niche segments that don’t replicate existing fiat currencies,” the news outlet conveyed. “The really interesting development for me is to have currencies that don’t match a currency in and of itself, but are intended to capture either a superset of a subset,” the CEO described.

Winters gave an example that digital currencies could be created for specific projects, such as trading in the voluntary carbon market, and users can be confident that the financing behind them is “verified, standardized, [and] monitored.”

He emphasized: “Those sorts of applications for a digital currency, and creating a digital currency ecosystem, is something that can’t be replicated by a fiat currency, or, most likely, by a central bank digital currency any time soon … I think there is a whole new world that’s opening up for us.”

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