Singapore’s embrace of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies has been nothing short of laudable. The latest in the line of private-backed crypto endeavors is coming from the country’s largest retail bank.
This week, DBS Bank, announced the launch of a crypto exchange and trading service. In a press release, the bank explained that it would use its new division to serve institutional investors, many of whom look to be showing interest in cryptocurrencies.
Trading, Custody, and Token Offering
Known as DBS Digital Exchange, the new platform will serve five cryptocurrencies at first.
Unsurprisingly, they are Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, and Bitcoin Cash. The press release didn’t say whether the bank plans to add support for other assets in the future. DBS Digital Exchange will also come with backing from SGX, Singapore’s largest derivatives and asset exchange, which will own a 10 percent stake.
Piyush Gupta, the chief executive of DBS Group, explained that the move was in line with the bank’s belief that Singapore will need to adopt the digital currency industry to remain competitive as a global financial hub. He pointed out that digital asset and currency trading is gaining significant traction in the country, and companies will need to embrace it soon enough.
Along with the trading service, DBS Digital Exchange will also provide a platform for tokenizing assets like private equity funds, bonds, and shares in some unlisted companies. The platform plans to integrate itself deeply into the Asian financial system, allowing investors to buy and sell currencies with the dollar, Singaporean dollar, Hong Kong dollar, and the yen.
Clients will also get a custodial service to store their digital assets, taking advantage of DBS Bank’s robust security infrastructure. Loh Boon Chye, the SGX chief executive, also praised the move as a potential opportunity to deepen the country’s digital asset market’s liquidity and scale.
Banks Getting Into Crypto
The first report of DBS Bank venturing into the digital asset space came In October. At the time, industry new sources claimed that the platform would support a wide range of cryptocurrencies, including those listed above and names like Ethereum Classic.
At the time, reports also claimed that DBS Digital Exchange wouldn’t hold any assets by itself. Instead, DBS Bank will store the asset. The bank would essentially use its world-renowned custodial services to ensure optimal asset security and customer safety.
While the exchange was initially set to allow small and medium enterprises to issue security tokens, it appears that the bank has pivoted and will now only serve large firms.
DBS Bank is only the second world-renowned bank to offer institutional-facing crypto services this week. Yesterday, Standard Chartered, one of the United Kingdom’s top banks, announced Zodia – a new custody service.
In a formal statement, Standard Chartered maintained that SC Ventures, its innovation arm, will run Zodia. The platform will be subject to regulations by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The platform launches in 2021, and it will provide support for Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.