The new venture will be based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and target market infrastructure, risk and compliance, decentralized finance (DeFi) and tokenization projects, the company told CoinDesk on Thursday (Nov. 9).
According to the report, Standard Chartered has shifted its crypto operations to the UAE in recent months, picking Dubai as the jurisdiction in which to start holding digital assets for institutional clients in the first quarter of next year.
The company has said that the Gulf region’s more established regulatory structure — compared to other jurisdictions — is one of the key factors pulling companies to set up crypto operations.
“We are looking for a home to set up an international hub that could serve the long tail of countries in the world,” Armstrong said.
The day before, the company had written on its blog that the Middle East serves as a “strategic bridge” between its customer bases in Europe and Asia.
According to Bloomberg, Armstrong says Coinbase still considers the U.S. a key market and has no plans to leave the country, despite what he says is a lack of clarity on the country’s crypto regulation.
Still, he argued that the UAE’s approach has been “more forward-thinking than the U.S.”
Standard Chartered in July raised its bitcoin price predictions after seeing increased miner profitability, and says it now projects the crypto asset to reach a price $50,000 by the end of 2023 — a 65% increase from current prices — before reaching $120,000 by the end of 2024.
Geoff Kendrick, head of crypto research and EM FX West at Standard Chartered, said per a Bloomberg News report that increased miner profitability will lead to reduced net bitcoin supply as miners can sell less while maintaining cash inflows.
“Increased miner profitability per BTC mined means they can sell less while maintaining cash inflows, reducing net BTC supply and pushing BTC prices higher,” Kendrick said.
Bitcoin was at $36,215 as of late Thursday afternoon.