StanChart’s Zodia Markets gearing up for stablecoin forex market debut

Zodia Markets’ Nick Philpott anticipates that traditional payment service providers may struggle to keep up with upgraded cross-border payment systems


tostphoto/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Standard Chartered’s crypto-focused venture, Zodia Markets, foresees significant growth in cross-border payments for 2023.

In light of this, the crypto asset brokerage intends to roll out a stablecoin-based foreign exchange (forex) market by the end of September.

“We’re seeing larger and larger corporates in more and more developed markets come to us either directly or through Standard Chartered […] and are looking at using stablecoins for cross border payments,” Nick Philpott, co-founder at Zodia Markets, told Blockworks in an interview.

“We’re working with the issuers of a bunch of non-US dollar stablecoins starting with Canadian, Japanese, Singaporean, euro and pound sterling to try to create a stablecoin-based foreign exchange market,” he continued.

This market would operate as a platform for users to exchange one stablecoin for another, similar to traditional forex markets that deal with fiat currencies like USD, EUR and JPY. 

“What we’re going to see is that this market is going to take off and I think a lot of traditional payment service providers are going to be left flat-footed and are going to be left behind,” Philpott said.

Earlier this month, Zodia Markets CEO Usman Ahmad said he views the British pound as a strong choice among non-USD stablecoins.

The firm’s platform has already incorporated USD via Circle and Tether and has plans to integrate Stablecorp (CAD), Circle (EUR), Poundtoken (GBP), GMO-Z (JPY) and StraitsX (SGD). Additional integrations are in progress, according to the firm. 

“In terms of the cross-border payments, I would say that’s already started. We’re just getting on the train,” Philpott said.

While many crypto exchanges and DeFi platforms allow users to trade stablecoins like USDC, USDT or DAI, Zodia Markets’ concept for a stablecoin-based foreign exchange market stands out because of its traditional institutional support.

Philpott, who developed an interest in crypto after witnessing his brother mine bitcoin, contended that Zodia Markets has formed strong partnerships with liquidity providers, and the support of Standard Chartered has boosted its credibility.

“A lot of those liquidity providers are already known to us because they work with Standard Chartered in other asset classes, so that helps, and they see what we’re trying to do,” he said.

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