Cryptocurrencies are “here to stay” and have a prominent role in the financial markets, according to Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters. However, he believes cryptos will likely be surpassed by other types of digital assets in the future, such as stablecoins, central bank digital currencies, or, even, non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
In a conference call following the bank’s Innovation and Digitisation Event on Wednesday, Bill Winters, the CEO of the multinational banking and financial services company, Standard Chartered, said there are cryptocurrencies that can be an alternative to fiat currencies:
“I think there’s a role for non-fiat currencies, especially when parts of the market are concerned about inflation. Broadly we’ve gone through long period of low inflation and we’ve got central banks experimenting in uncharted territory with very, very loose monetary policy. It’s perfectly reasonable for people to want an alternative to fiat currency?”
Custody solutions for cryptocurrencies are one of several ways that Standard Chartered is trying to be more agile and reactive to its client's needs. In December 2020, Standard Chartered’s innovations and ventures arm SC Ventures announced it had partnered with Northern Trust to create Zodia Custody, a custody service for institutional investors who want to hold cryptocurrencies.
On whether decentralized cryptocurrencies are more preferable to centralized cryptocurrencies, the Standard CEO said:
“There are fascinating questions about whether completely decentralised cryptocurrencies are preferable to somewhat administered cryptocurrencies. That the market will decide over time. If there’s a role for these instruments in market, there will be a role for us to support that, always subject to regulatory guardrails.”
Winters's remarks come just two days after JPMorgan CEO said, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Bitcoin is worthless.
“I don’t want to be a spokesperson, I don’t care. It makes no difference to me. Our clients are adults. They disagree. That’s what makes markets. So, if they want to have access to buy yourself bitcoin, we can’t custody it but we can give them legitimate, as clean as possible, access.”