Southeast Asia’s Largest Bank DBS Expands Crypto Business to Meet 'Growing Demand'

DBS, Southeast Asia’s largest bank, has announced a series of milestones for its crypto business. Its brokerage arm has obtained preliminary approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore’s central bank, and its crypto exchange will start operating 24-7 to meet the growing demand for cryptocurrency.

DBS Sees ‘Keen Interest Among Asset Managers and Corporates’ for Cryptocurrencies

Southeast Asia’s largest bank, DBS, made several announcements Thursday. Firstly, the bank’s brokerage arm, DBS Vickers (DBSV), “has received in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) under the Payment Services Act (PS Act) to provide digital payment token services as a major payment institution.”

Noting that as one of the first few financial institutions to obtain such approval, DBS is now working to comply with the central bank’s requirements for a full license, the company elaborated:

Once licensed, DBSV, as a member of DBS Digital Exchange (Ddex), will be able to directly support asset managers and companies to trade in digital payment tokens through Ddex.

Secondly, DBS Bank announced that from Aug. 16, its crypto exchange “will operate round-the-clock.” The exchange is currently operating only during Asian trading hours to allow for processes and protocols to be fine-tuned.

The bank also noted that its crypto exchange, which is a members-only exchange for institutional and accredited investors, “has gained good traction since its launch” late last year. In May, the bank said its exchange’s crypto trading volumes increased 10 times. It also launched a trust service for cryptocurrencies during the same month.

DBS Digital Exchange currently offers trading services between four fiat currencies (SGD, USD, HKD, and JPY), and four cryptocurrencies: bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH), and XRP.

The bank revealed:

Around 400 investors have been onboarded to trade on Ddex as at end-June 2021. Ddex recorded close to SGD 180 million [$132.49 million] in total trading value in Q2 2021, more than five times the value traded in the previous quarter. DBS has over SGD 130 million in digital assets in its custodial services.

The bank added that it is “building up its pipeline of potential security token offerings (STOs),” noting that the exchange “listed its inaugural STO in June in the form of an SGD 15 million digital bond.”

Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, group head of Capital Markets at DBS, said:

We have seen keen interest among asset managers and corporates for access to digital payment token services, and with DBSV receiving in-principle approval under the PS Act, we are well-placed to meet this growing demand … We are confident of doubling our investor base by the end of the year.

“This could add to Ddex’s volumes in the coming months, and, coupled with Ddex going operational round-the-clock, help accelerate growth for Ddex,” he opined.

What do you think about DBS Bank expanding its crypto business to meet growing client demand? Let us know in the comments section below.

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