Singapore’s DBS Bank is finally launching Asia’s first bank-backed cryptocurrency trust service. The bank, which is the largest in Singapore, will allow its clients to invest in, manage and securely store their Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and XRP.
DBS Bank has continued to march on with its crypto offering, having first dipped its toes in the crypto waters in December last year. At the time, it launched a crypto exchange for its wealthy clients and for institutions. It partnered with the Singapore Exchange Limited to offer asset tokenization, secondary trading of assets and custody services.
According to a Bloomberg report, it has now ventured into crypto trust solutions. Speaking about the latest offering, Joseph Poon, the head of the DBS Private Bank stated:
In recent years, more clients have expressed interest or are already invested in digital assets, and we expect this trend to accelerate as cryptocurrencies turn more mainstream. Our trust structure allows clients to conveniently hold these assets, with peace of mind that they will be safely managed and passed on to their intended beneficiaries.
The bank further revealed that it’s working on conducting its first security token offering. It also intends to expand operating hours from Asian time zones to round-the-clock. This will greatly impact the clients as crypto markets tend to be volatile and since they operate 24 hours a day everywhere else, clients can lose out if they can’t access their accounts during peak hours.
DBS sets the pace in Asia
Asia has been the cryptocurrency Mecca for years. Countries such as Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong have been some of the most advanced in crypto. These countries are also home to some of the biggest crypto companies.
However, when it comes to institutional involvement in crypto, these countries have lagged behind. In the U.S, banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are already launching crypto products. Meanwhile in Europe, the like of UBS are also forging a new crypto-friendly path.
In Asia, the traditional financial system hasn’t been as welcoming. DBS has been a shining light, however. The Singaporean bank launched its crypto exchange for wealthy clients last year. It received approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore to start the exchange.
“The time has come, the time is right for this industry to increasingly find partnership and sponsorship from the formal banking sector,” the bank’s CEO, Piyush Gupta remarked.
The exchange currently holds $60 million in assets under custody. It has 120 clients and “a robust pipeline awaiting onboarding.”
With the latest offering, DBS will ensure that critical information about clients’ digital assets such as passwords remains confidential after their passing, the bank stated.
This is because trusts are kept out of the probate process and do not normally become part of the public record. This will save clients’ beneficiaries from having to deal with potential complexities that could arise during the probate process, which include jurisdictional estate taxes.