The largest retail and commercial bank in Southeast Asia by assets, DBS, is seemingly planning to launch a digital assets platform for the trading and custody of major cryptocurrencies. According to an announcement that was posted accidentally and deleted, the forthcoming crypto offering — the DBS Digital Exchange — is backed by the Singapore-headquartered bank and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (the country’s central bank).
The fiat-to-crypto exchange will “leverage an integrated ecosystem of solutions to tap the vast potential of private markets and digital currencies”. In particular, it will support five top cryptos including bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Ethereum Classic (ETC). Users will be able to trade these cryptocurrencies against the United States Dollar (USD), the Singapore dollar (SGD), the Japanese Yen (JPY), and the Hong Kong dollar (HKD).
What’s unique about this digital assets exchange is that it will not be holding any assets itself. Instead, “all digital assets are kept at DBS Bank, which is globally recognized for its custodial services”. The now-deleted announcement highlights that DBS has set up an “institutional-grade” custody solution called DBS Digital Custody.
Additionally, DBS Digital Exchange will also allow SMEs and large corporations alike to issue security tokens in the foreseeable future.
Before the announcement was taken down, industry leaders touted the move as another huge milestone for the cryptocurrency space. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, for instance, tweeted:
“Not sure if the #BTC is transferrable yet, but regardless a step in the right direction.”
Ryan Sean Adams, crypto investor and founder of Mythos Capital, postulated:
“The largest bank in Singapore just launched a crypto exchange. All banks are sidechains of Ethereum and Bitcoin. They just don’t know it yet.”
The year 2020 has seen a flurry of good news for the nascent asset class. The uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the forthcoming US elections has certainly strengthened the investment case for crypto.
DBS’s announcement comes after US payments behemoth PayPal embraced cryptocurrency last week. Business intelligence firm MicroStrategy, Jack Dorsey’s Square, and $10 billion asset manager Stone Ridge revealed substantial investments in the bellwether cryptocurrency.
With all these developments (and more on the way), bitcoin’s likelihood of surging higher in the coming weeks and months has increased significantly. Bitcoin is currently trading at $13,631.25, up 1.72% so far today.