December 10, 2020 - The largest bank in SE Asia, Singaporean bank DBS, has officially announced it will launch a cryptocurrency exchange, enabling Institutional Investors and Accredited Investors to tap into a fully integrated tokenisation, trading and custody ecosystem for digital assets.

The announcement follows the in-principle approval by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to recognise DBS Digital Exchange as a Recognised Market Operator, allowing it to operate organised markets for assets such as shares, bonds and private equity funds. The Singapore Exchange, SGX, will be a 10% stakeholder in the project.

Back in October this year, the Singaporean bank had announced the soft-launch of its crypto exchange for fiat-to-cryptocurrency trading pairs.

DBS will leverage blockchain technology to provide an ecosystem for fund raising through asset tokenisation and the secondary trading of digital assets including cryptocurrencies. This includes:

Security Token Offerings - 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.

Digital Currency Exchange - Cryptocurrency trading that will facilitate spot exchanges from fiat currencies to cryptocurrencies and vice versa. The DBS Digital Exchange will offer exchange services between four fiat currencies (SGD, USD, HKD, JPY), and four of the most established cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and XRP.

Digital Custody Services - An institution-grade digital custody solution to meet the increasing demand for secure custodial services tailored for digital assets under their prevailing regulatory standards. Leveraging DBS’ experience in providing world-class custody services for conventional assets, DBS’ digital custody services provide the custody of cryptographic keys that control digital assets on behalf of clients.

Piyush Gupta, Group CEO, DBS, commented that, “The exponential pace of asset digitalisation provides immense opportunities to reshape capital markets. For Singapore to become even more competitive as a global financial hub, we have to prepare ourselves to welcome the mainstream adoption of digital assets and currency trading. DBS is committed to accelerating the development of a fully integrated ecosystem to facilitate this. We believe that this is the first of its kind integrated offering, which is differentiated in many ways.”

Loh Boon Chye, CEO of SGX, said, "We are excited to apply our strengths in market infrastructure and risk management to this venture. There are significant opportunities to bring trust and efficiency in price discovery to the global digital assets space. We look forward to working closely with DBS to advance Singapore's standing as a multi-asset international financial centre."

The announcement by DBS is another example of Singapore beginning to lead the pack in terms of the crossover between traditional banks and crypto trading. Earlier this week, SC Ventures, the Singapore-based innovation arm of Standard Chartered -announced a partnership with the leading provider of asset servicing Northern Trust, to launch Zodia Custody, a custody solution for cryptocurrencies designed for institutional clients.