DBS wins regulatory approval in Singapore for crypto payment services



Singapore’s largest bank, DBS Bank, has expanded its scope of supported cryptocurrency services by scoring another regulatory approval.

DBS Bank’s brokerage arm, DBS Vickers (DBSV), has received in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to provide digital payment token services as a payment institution, the company officially announced Thursday.

The approval is granted under Singapore’s Payment Services Act, paving the way for DBSV’s payment license. Once licensed, the firm will be able to directly support asset managers and companies trading in digital payment tokens through DBS Bank’s cryptocurrency-enabled exchange, DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx).

In conjunction with the MAS approval announcement, DBS also disclosed that DDEx will begin operating 24/7 starting next Monday, allowing investors to trade on the platform at any time. The exchange initially operated only during Asian trading hours, the company said. Launched in late 2020, DDEx supports trading of major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), XRP, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), targeting only institutional investors.

Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, DBS’s group head of capital markets, said that the company has been seeing growing demand among corporates and asset managers for digital payment token services. “This could add to DDEx’s volumes in the coming months, and, coupled with DDEx going operational round-the-clock, help accelerate growth for DDEx,” he noted.

Related: 43% of Singaporeans own crypto, according to Independent Reserve survey

DBS Bank has been actively extending its range of supported digital asset-related services after setting up a crypto exchange last December. In May, DBS Private Bank launched a cryptocurrency trust solution via its fully-owned trust company DBS Trustee. The previously announced that it posted tenfold volume growth on its cryptocurrency exchange in the first quarter of 2021.

The latest news comes shortly after the MAS issued the first in-principle approval for Australian crypto exchange Independent Reserve last week, allowing the firm to operate as a fully regulated virtual asset service provider.