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Zodia Markets reportedly in talks to acquire Alan Howard-backed crypto OTC firm

Standard Chartered’s crypto arm Zodia Markets is said to be in discussions with Elwood to acquire part of its crypto OTC business.

Institutional crypto trading firm Zodia Markets is reportedly in talks with Alan Howard-backed Elwood Technologies to acquire part of its crypto over-the-counter (OTC) business Elwood Capital as Standard Chartered is on track to set up a trading desk for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

According to a Bloomberg report, the deal is in its final stages and is expected to be completed by August, though the transaction size remains unclear.

By acquiring Elwood’s crypto OTC business, Zodia Markets would gain licenses for virtual asset service provider services and investment businesses in Jersey. A source close to the matter told Bloomberg that Zodia is focusing on expanding its OTC settlement services.

Founded in 2018 by Alan Howard, Elwood Technologies raised $70 million from investors like Goldman Sachs and Dawn Capital. The company reported a loss of $16.9 million for the fiscal year ending March 2023. Elwood has been considering selling part of its business since late May after the London-headquartered firm re-evaluated its roadmap and decided to focus more on portfolio management and risk management services rather than trading.

In addition to its trading platform, Zodia also offers custodian services through its entity, Zodia Custody. In late June, Zodia Custody secured funding from NAB Ventures, the venture capital arm of National Australia Bank (NAB). With the funding, Zodia Custody plans to intensify its efforts in Australia, particularly in onboarding local digital asset exchanges amid anticipated regulatory changes by 2025.