Sodium 2-(diphenylphosphino)ethyl phosphonate (1) was investigated as a stabilising agent for platinum nanoparticles (Pt-NPs) in aqueous solution. This phosphino phosphonate is known to stabilise rhodium nanoparticles (NPs) in water. Here we report that in the case of Pt-NPs this ligand is indirectly involved in the stabilisation mechanism and the actual stabilisation agent is the platinum complex Na-2Pt(1)(2)] (2). The reduction of platinum(II) salts in the presence of the phosphonates 1, 2, sodium 2-(diphenylphosphoryl)ethyl phosphonate (3) and 3,3,3-triphenylpropyl phosphonate (4) leads to stable platinum NPs with a remarkably narrow particle size distribution. These platinum NPs show high catalytic activity in the hydrogenation of 1-hexene and 1-chloro-3-nitrobenzene under biphasic as well as heterogeneous (supported on charcoal) conditions. The activity of the supported NPs was 30 times higher than the commercially available catalyst Pt(0) EnCat (R). Furthermore, the single-crystal X-ray structures of (1)(MeOH)(2)(H2O)(2), (3)(H2O)(4), and (4) 2(H2O)(17) have been determined.