The Singaporean banking giant DBS has finally confirmed reports circulating since October that it is set to launch a range of crypto-related operations – including a crypto exchange offering trading in bitcoin (BTC) and major altcoins. (Updated at 14:39 UTC: a quote from Piyush Gupta was added).
The news come just a matter of weeks after a web page explaining the functionality of the platform, named the DBS Digital Exchange, apparently went live on the DBS site by mistake – only to be seemingly pulled offline shortly after. But now the bank has issued a press release declaring that the digital exchange will indeed see the light of day after all.
The bank said its new platform would be a “full-service digital exchange” that will also provide “tokenization” offerings for non-stock market listed companies that are looking to digitize their assets, as well as “trading” and a “custody ecosystem for digital assets.”
“The time has come, the time is right for this industry to increasingly find partnership and sponsorship from the formal banking sector,” DBS Chief Executive Officer Piyush Gupta was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. According to him, trading will start as early as next week.
The DBS Digital Exchange, which one Twitter-based observer claimed back in October had been “in the works for two years” will allow clients to trade in four fiat currencies (the Singaporean dollar, the USD, the Hong Kong dollar and the Japanese yen), as well as four “of the most established cryptocurrencies:” bitcoin, ethereum (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH) and Ripple’s XRP.
The tokenization efforts will involve allowing firms to launch Security Token Offerings (STOs), and will provide a “regulated platform for the issuance and trading of digital tokens backed by financial assets, such as shares in unlisted companies, bonds and private equity funds.”
The bank states that it has received “in-principle” regulatory approval for its new exchange from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s central bank and top financial regulator.
The bank also said it would provide clients with private key management and crypto custody-related services, and announced that the Singapore Exchange (SGX) would own a 10% stake in the DBS Digital Exchange.
In 2019, DBS had SGD 579bn (USD 426bn) in assets, while its income reached SGD 14.5bn and net profit stood at SGD 6.4bn. The bank claims it has over 240,000 institutional banking customers and almost 11m consumer banking/wealth management customers.
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