Standard Chartered Takes Bullish Stand On Ethereum, Puts Price At $35,000

Ethereum has seen some optimistic price predictions this year. While a lot of analysts have erred on the conservative side, others have gone the route of being overly optimistic. With some putting the price of the altcoin at $20,000, like in the case of Real Vision founder Raoul Pal. But none have gone as high as where the British banking giant puts the price of the asset.

There has been widespread sentiment in the market regarding the potential of Ethereum to overtake Bitcoin at some point, and it looks like institutions believe this too. Last month, deVere CEO Nigel Green said in a statement that Ethereum was set to outperform Bitcoin in the long run. Green pointed to numbers from the past year which already showed that the former was already outperforming the latter in the market, giving it a timeline of five years.

Related Reading | Flash Crash, Ethereum Tests Support With 17% Drop And Risks Further Losses

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Standard Chartered More Bullish On Ethereum

Standard Chartered released a new report on crypto on Tuesday. In it showed the bank’s view on cryptocurrencies, with a focus on Bitcoin and Ethereum. The report showed the banking giant had a more favorable view on Ether, which it believes is superior to Bitcoin due to the fact that it is akin to a financial market. The rise of decentralized finance (DeFi) has seen the rise of protocols offering alternatives to traditional financial services like lending, borrowing, and yield farming.

Related Reading | New To Bitcoin? Learn To Trade Crypto With The NewsBTC Trading Course

Standard Chartered sees Bitcoin doing well in the long run, but not performing as well as Ether because it is more like a currency. The bank sees the use cases of Ethereum being the major catalyst that sees the market capitalization overtake that of Bitcoin.

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Longer-term price predictions came out to the range of $50,000 to $175,000 over the long term for Bitcoin. Only about a 300% price increase for the asset from its current levels. While the report put forth a much more optimistic price prediction for Ethereum. Standard Chartered expects that the price of ETH in the long term will be in the $26,000 to $35,000 range, predicting a 1,000% increase in the price from its current point.

ETH Keeps Outperforming BTC

At first glance, Standard Chartered’s prediction for both cryptos may seem too wild to be true. But a look at the charts for both assets shows that the analysts are on to something here. In 2021 alone, Bitcoin has grown about 38% to the present day. On the other hand, Ethereum has grown 240% this year alone. A year-over-year analysis shows that ETH has consistently outperformed BTC in the market. Coupled with its use cases, this makes it a prime candidate for institutional investments.

Bitcoin price chart from

Bitcoin price chart from

BTC has grown 38% in 2021 | Source: BTCUSD on

Ethereum price chart from

Ethereum price chart from

ETH has grown 240% in 2021 | Source: ETHUSD on

One thing the Standard Chartered report does acknowledge though is the importance of BTC growth to that of ETH. Although it is bullish on ETH, it acknowledges that for ETH to get to the predicted price point, BTC would actually need to first get to its predicted $175,000.

Featured image from ETF Stream, charts from


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Standard Chartered’s Zodia Custody Gets FCA Approval to Offer Cryptocurrency Services

Zodia Custody has announced that it has obtained approval from the UK regulator (Financial Conduct Authority – FCA).

SC Ventures, the innovation and ventures unit of Standard Chartered and Northern Trust Corporation, launched Zodia Custody in 2020 in response to the rising number of institutions making their entry into the digital asset market.

Based on the development regarding the FCA’s approval, Alex Manson of SC Venters stated: “We believe crypto assets as an asset class is here to stay. We set up Zodia Custody with the clear goal of serving institutional investors who want to invest in cryptoassets in a sustainable, safe and responsible way. Our aspiration is to lift standards, grow the ecosystem and help a nascent industry mature, becoming more acceptable to institutional investors and ultimately society at large.”

Zodia Custody has obtained approval from the FCA under UK money laundering regulations. It will now apply standards equivalent to those already used for the custody of traditional securities in running its cryptocurrency business.

With its aim to serve the institutional market, Zodia Custody will offer custody services for the most-traded cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, followed by XRP, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, which represent 80% of the total assets traded on the largest crypto exchanges at approximately $395 billion. Zodia is therefore well set to offer services to cryptocurrency businesses.

Crackdown on Cryptocurrency

Zodia’s entry into the digital asset market is likely to be a game-changer for the institutional adoption of crypto assets.

However, it has not been easy to get an FCA registration. So far, only nine firms have obtained a cryptocurrency registration. The main requirement is the enforcement of anti-money laundering and the prevention of terrorism financing. In January 2020, the FCA enabled a temporary registration, with about 75 firms currently holding such a designation, including the likes of Revolut, which processes significant volumes.

The first authorisation by FCA went to Archax, the tokenised securities firm, in August 2020. The only registration approval awarded to crypto businesses in 2020 included Ziglu crypto investment firm and crypto trading firm Gemini Europe. Since September 2020, there was no registration approval until this year in June when custody firm DigiVault, Ramp Swaps, Fibermode, and Solidi got approval.

In June this year, over 60 crypto-related firms, including Binance, withdrew their applications with the Financial Conduct Authority to do business in the UK. The nation tightened its regulation in space.

In late June, the regulator banned Binance from conducting its regulated activities in the country due to a lack of proper money laundering and terrorism financing prevention capabilities. The FCA joined other regulators across the globe, moving to prohibit or heavily control the crypto exchange amid a series of global regulations aiming to tighten regulations around crypto use. The ban also reflects concerns that Binance exchange is being used by criminals to launder the proceeds of attacks.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Kraken Director Dan Held Tags Traditional Financial Institutions A “Cartel”

Kraken Director Dan Held recently posted a tweet that shows what he thinks of the traditional banking system.

Are traditional banks truly a collision of government financial structures for monopoly? A necessary fact-check and digging into the actual status of the state-owned bricks and mortar financial depository institutions comes to bear following Dan Held’s recent tweet.

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Dan’s Profile

Dan Held, at present, is the Director of Growth Marketing at Kraken. A company he sold his erstwhile company called Interchange to. The company was a portfolio reconciliation tool for crypto institutional traders. Kraken acquired Interchange in July of 2019.

He has, over time, been actively involved in crypto activities. For instance, before his role at Kraken, Dan created some of the most prominent earlier crypto products, including ChangeTip and ZeroBlock acquired by AirBnB and ZeroBlock and, respectively, second-ever all Bitcoin acquisition.

Related Reading | Controversial Bitcoin Mining Council Confirms “Sustainable Power Mix”

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2013 is worthy of mentioning as the year he was part of the original crypto meetup group in SF. The meetup comprised of crypto giants like the founders of Coinbase, Litecoin, and Kraken, which he now works for.

As ardent crypto, particularly bitcoin, influencer, the U.S. national recently took to his Twitter media page on Thursday to label the structure of traditional financial institutions as equivalent to “a cartel.”

What Dan Held Thinks Of Traditional Banks

To Dan, “Institutions” are referred to as financial institutions, otherwise known as banking institutions, which are corporations that provide services as intermediaries of financial markets that are formed to monopolize the financial market.

They include central banks, sovereign wealth funds, different types of banks (ex: commercial/investment), brokerages, and insurance firms. However, Dan’s tagged – “a cartel” was exclusively for the state’s banks other than the private ones, as perceived.

So was he in any way right terming them a cartel?

Traditional Banks: A Cartel Or Not? Findings Show, He Might Be Right

A study reported in 2020 ships in some support to Dan’s claim. The study posits that Banks are becoming “instruments, rather than conduits, of monetary policy.”

In the advanced civilizations, most significantly, the 2020 findings uncovered that since the 2008 financial crisis, private banks had been subjected to some brutal regulatory changes in the hands of state-owned ones.

From pricing caps on loans to floors on deposits to rising capital buffer requirements, and the list goes on, the pain for many minority shareholders is seemingly endless.

Many countries, especially the developing ones, have gone one step ahead in terms of their involvement in the banking sector of their respective states.

However, the study highlights that the authority of these countries is making an effort to fuel the dominance of state-owned banks over private players.

Related Reading | Scaramucci’s Skybridge Capital Launches Ethereum Fund

And then some take “outright stakes in formerly ‘private’ banks (in both friendly and less than amicable manners), to exercise an increasingly populist form of monetarism.”

JP Morgan Chief Confirmation

Comments from the likes of Jamie Dimon, a central figure in JP Morgan, a global leader in financial services offering solutions to the world’s most important corporations, governments, etc., drives home Dan Held’s tweet. The Chief Executive during a financial crisis period was once quoted as saying,

“I believe there were people … who were greedy, selfish, did the wrong stuff, overpaid themselves, and couldn’t give a damn. Yes.”

His utterance reflected the monopoly, resultant corruption, and abuse the state-backed financial institutions’ players were enjoying at the time at the expense of the common good.

Regulatory default

Another report in the same year on findings by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) shows that five global central banks have been detected siphoning trillions of dollars in criminal funds in the recently leaked FinCEN Files.

The shocking finding is 2,100 documents stretching from 2000 to 2017. It reveals swindling funds flowed almost effortlessly through JPMorgan, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of New York Mellon.

The detected FinCEN Files show that Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and other world government-controlled regulatory bodies rarely prosecute the world’s banking cartel.

Related Reading | FinCEN Issues Advisory On Iran’s “Illicit” Use of Crypto to Bypass Sanctions

It Was All About Decentralized and Centralized Antagonism

Nonetheless, the support of the fact checks on his claim, we assume Dan’s stance has been triggered by the competition between Bitcoin and the government-backed legal tender.

Kraken Director Dan Held Tags Traditional Financial Institutions A “Cartel”

While Dan Held is trustworthy, many think it was mere advocacy for Bitcoin against the regulatory competitor.

Featured image from Dan Held Twitter, chart from


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BNY Mellon Announces Crypto Custody and Spies Integrated Services

BNY Mellon, the world’s largest custodian bank with some $41 trillion in assets in its safekeeping, is moving into crypto.

Announced Thursday, BNY Mellon will roll out a new digital custody unit later this year, to help clients deal in digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. 

Banks exploring digital assets, or large app providers like PayPal offering crypto, tend to start out with the usual suspects: bitcoin, ether and other top coins.

“The platform we have built would service any of those assets,” Mike Demissie, head of advanced solutions at BNY Mellon, said in an interview. “It will be driven by client interest and demand, and we also stayed tuned to regulatory activity to make sure we are supporting assets that are allowed in a particular market.”

There’s a similarly short list of crypto-native custody tech firms that a bank like BNY Mellon would likely draw upon to build out a custody solution. Demissie confirmed the custody offering relies on outside partners, but said the bank is “not ready to disclose any names yet.”

“We are certainly not building it entirely from scratch,” said Demissie.

Banks rush in

There has been some discussion among large crypto exchanges, trading desks and custody businesses about which financial institution will provide white-glove prime brokerage service, currently lacking in crypto. BNY Mellon’s plans would seem to aim squarely at that space.

“We are starting with the anchor in this space which is custody,” said Demissie. “Then it comes down to what our clients need from us. So that’s not just safekeeping of these assets, they want to leverage them for lending purposes, they want to leverage them for collateral. Then we are also looking at issuing digital assets, like tokenized securities, real assets.” 

Whether BNY Mellon’s plans meet the official prime broker definition is yet to be determined, added Caroline Butler, head of custody at BNY Mellon. “But I think the fact that we have such a fantastic collateral offering here, we should be leveraging an ability to connect across those product suites for digital assets as an asset class.”

Butler added: “And whether clients want to borrow or lend bitcoin versus the dollar, that’s the level of interoperability that we need to be able to provide.” 

Nuts and bolts 

There are some nuanced differences when it comes to crypto custody, said Butler. “Being able to actually custody the key that represents the asset means effectively custody of code,” she said. “It leans in more on emerging technologies than our traditional custody software would naturally lend itself to. An important part is making sure it’s all interoperable with our existing custody platforms.”

So which way does the bank’s crypto custody unit lean? Is it toward the kind of air-gapped cold storage sometimes associated with bunkers buried inside Swiss mountains, or more in line with math-powered multi-party computation (MPC), plus perhaps a hardware security module (HSM) component?

“All of the above,” said Butler. “Clients who are actively trading are going to need a level of accessibility to the assets that maybe cold storage can’t provide. But for security purposes, a portion in cold storage plus MPC, as an example, may be favorable to them.”

BNY Mellon says it is proud to be the first of the large U.S. custodian banks to come out with a service for digital assets. (JPMorgan and Citi are also said to be working on custody solutions for digital assets and crypto, as is Goldman Sachs.)

However, in terms of being the first, Northern Trust, with over $10 trillion in assets under custody, announced a partnership with Standard Chartered to extend custody services to digital assets back in December of last year. (BNY Mellon was unable to say roughly when this year the service would go live.) 

“We would like to highlight that it’s not just the custody aspect of it, but the integrated offering that’s a differentiating factor,” said Demissie.

Butler pointed out that Standard Chartered is a sub-custodian for BNY Mellon in some markets. 

So could the banks’ respective digital custody units be connected when these services go live later this year?

“Not right away,” said Butler. “But further down the road, who knows?”



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