DBS Bank, Singapore’s largest banks and one of the biggest banks in Asia is reportedly planning to launch a cryptocurrency trading exchange that would see support for Bitcoin among other crypto tokens.
Major Singapore Bank Floats Crypto Exchange
According to details available in the cached webpage, following the deletion of the exchange’s official website, the DBS Bank has plans to offer a bank-backed cryptocurrency exchange platform. The new exchange is called “DBS Digital Exchange.”
Details from the cached web page show the planned DBS Exchange supporting four crypto assets namely: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), XRP, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). These coins will be traded against fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar (USD), Singapore dollar (SGD), Japanese Yen (JPY), and the Hong Kong dollar (HKD).
Apart from being a crypto-fiat exchange, reports indicate that the exchange will also host security token offerings (STOs). Under Singapore’s laws, issuers of STOs will have to register with the country’s Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
With the DBS exchange dealing in fiat, the platform will need to adhere to strict know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws. DBS Bank, the parent bank of the exchange will provide cryptocurrency custody services.
“Unlike most digital exchanges today, DBS Digital Exchange does not hold any digital assets. Instead, all digital assets are kept at DBS Bank, which is globally recognised for its custodial services. To keep customers’ digital assets safe, DBS Bank has deployed DBS Digital Custody, an institutional-grade custody solution specially tailored for safekeeping digital assets.”
Oddly, the DBS platform will not offer crypto trading services during weekend days. Typically, cryptocurrency exchanges work round the clock unless during periods of scheduled or forced maintenance.
Retail traders will also not have direct access to the exchange and must instead utilize a DBS-member business to trade on the platform. Institutional players, on the other hand, do not have such restrictions.
Banks Embracing Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
Despite the earlier negative stance of financial institutions towards cryptocurrency, more banks seem to be making moves to embrace the nascent technology.
As reported , in August, Swiss Bank Basler Kantonalbank announced plans to offer clients Bitcoin lending and custodial services. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the U.S banking regulatory body earlier authorized national banks in the country to offer crypto custodial services.
Apart from offering custodial services for crypto assets, some banks are also working on creating their own “coins”. One of such financial institutions is the U.S. banking behemoth, JPMorgan Chase, which launched its JPM Coin back in February 2019. According to one of the bank’s executives on October 27, 2020, the JPM Coin will be used for commercial purposes this week.
Also, banks have collaborated with their central banks to study central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). In China, state commercial banks were reportedly trialing the digital wallet for the country’s digital yuan. While in France, a list of financial institutions including Societe Generale, HSBC, and Accenture were shortlisted to test the country’s proposed CBDC.