Capital markets News

DBS Digital Exchange says digital asset volumes soaring

DBS bank

Singapore’s DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx) was amongst the first banks in the world to offer clients cryptocurrency services when it launched in 2020. Now it says trading volumes have trebled during the first five months of the year, with active clients up 36%. Assets under custody are also rose 80% in Singapore dollar terms. However, it didn’t provide absolute figures.

The bank acknowledges the growth is on the back of cryptocurrency valuations growing more than 50% during the same period (62% for Bitcoin).

“Professional investors are increasingly viewing digital assets as a legitimate part of their alternative portfolios,” said Lim Wee Kian, CEO of DDEx. “They require platforms that provide them complete safety of their assets, seamless access to an entire ecosystem of digital asset services, and the ability to manage digital asset and traditional portfolios side-by-side. Our strong growth underscores our clients’ recognition that DBS offers these value propositions.”

The CEO also said it is exploring listing stablecoins and enabling clients to stake Ethereum.

Last month Paxos announced its plans to launch a Singapore stablecoin, with DBS providing custody of the stablecoin reserves. Perhaps that could be one of the listed coins.

DDEx is not available to regulator investors. It is open to institutions, family offices and high net worth individuals, although the latter have to invest via DBS Private Bank.

Volumes were already significantly higher by February this year, at which point the Singapore bank started exploring a Hong Kong digital asset trading license.

DBS Bank has long embraced blockchain technology. Alongside JP Morgan and Temasek, it founded Partior, the cross border payments company. It has participated in Project Guardian exploring public blockchain applications within a sandbox environment. The bank has also joined several trade and trade finance initiatives that use blockchain.

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