Banks Warming up to Crypto: Singapore’s DBS Bank Opens up Crypto Trading to ‘Accredited’ Investors

Updated by Ryan James
In Brief
  • Singapore's largest bank continues expansion of its crypto exchange client base, opening it up to accredited investors.
  • Investors will need to invest at least $500 to trade bitcoin, bitcoin cash, Ethereum, and XRP on the bank's digital exchange.
  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore continues to be resolute in its support of blockchain-related technologies and lack of support for crypto retail trading.
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DBS Group Holdings Ltd. has opened up its cryptocurrency trading services on its digital exchange DDEx to an additional 100,000 of its most affluent clientele.

The bank will allow accredited clients with at least $246,000 in investable assets to buy, sell, and trade a few cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin. Crypto traders must invest at least $500. The trading facility will be available on the DBS digibank app.

“As a trusted partner that helps our clients to grow and protect their wealth, we believe in staying ahead of the curve and providing access to the solutions they seek. Broadening access to DDEx is yet another step in our efforts to provide sophisticated investors looking to dip their toes in cryptocurrencies with a seamless and secure way to do so,” said Sim S. Lim, Group Executive for Consumer Banking and Wealth Management at DBS Bank.

This announcement marks the second major expansion of eligible clientele, following a prior announcement by the bank roughly two weeks ago that it would start offering crypto trading services to 300,000 of its wealthiest Asian clients, including private banks, accredited investors, and other exchanges and funds. Before that, the exchange had about 1,000 eligible traders.

Since being granted approval by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to operate a crypto exchange, DBS Vickers, the brokerage entity of DBS bank that runs the exchange, has seen a steady increase in trading activity. Transaction volumes doubled between Apr. 2022, and June 2022, with bitcoin volume seeing a four-fold increase.

Bank touts institutional-grade custodial infrastructure

Accredited investors can trade bitcoin, bitcoin cash, Ethereum, and XRP on DDEx. Clients can view their crypto holdings and the other assets in their portfolio on the digibank platform.

According to DBS bank, clients’ crypto assets will be protected by “institutional-grade” custody, which stores the assets in cold storage and is protected by multiple security layers.

Client funds will be directly debited when they perform cryptocurrency transactions, doing away with the need for stablecoins acting as a bridge between the crypto and fiat worlds.

Singapore’s crypto approach: hands-off, retail investors

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has previously warned against retail investors trading cryptocurrencies and, in Jan. 2022, banned crypto ads from the general public. Evidence of this will be seen in the upcoming Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, scheduled for Sep. 30, 2022, when Crypto.com will be forced to remove public advertising signage during the race.

“MAS strongly encourages the development of blockchain technology and innovative application of crypto tokens in value-adding use cases,” noted MAS Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Payments, and Financial Crime) Loo Siew Yee at the time. “But the trading of cryptocurrencies is highly risky and not suitable for the general public.” 

The agency has come under fire for positioning Singapore as a destination for fintech and distributed ledger technology while simultaneously creating bureaucratic obstacles for companies wishing to establish crypto businesses in the country.

It has voiced its support for tokenizing traditional financial assets like cash, bonds, artwork, and real estate.

For Be[In]Crypto’s latest Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here

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