Singaporean megabank DBS works on expanding Bitcoin trading to retail

DBS Bank, Singapore’s largest bank,is working on expanding its cryptocurrency exchange beyond its current investor base of institutional clients, according to the CEO.

DBS Bank CEO Piyush Gupta spoke of the bank’s cryptocurrency business during the Q4 2021 earnings call on Monday, stating that the company will focus on measures to further scale its crypto exchange operations in 2022.

During the call, Gupta was asked whether DBS Bank has a roadmap for rolling out digital asset trading to retail investors. While the CEO did not provide a straightforward answer, he still said that DBS Bank did initiate some work in order to expand its current investor base, stating:

“We’ve started doing the work on seeing how we get in a sensible way, take it out and expand it beyond the current investor base. And that includes making sure we appropriate thinking about things like potential fraud and others.”

He hinted that DBS Bank would not be able to proceed with retail support for its crypto exchange before completing that work, expecting to finalize related developments by the end of 2022. “I think you’re looking more like the end of the year before we can actually take something to market,” Gupta noted.

According to Gupta, DBS Bank also expects to significantly boost its crypto trading platform either in the first half or in the first three quarters of this year. The bank specifically plans to “make the access to the digital assets a lot more convenient” by enabling instant online deposits and transactions without relying much on banking intermediaries, the CEO stated, adding:

“What happens is that you’ve got 24/7, but the customers still need to call and speak to bankers. So the first order is to make it all online, make it self-service, make it instant and make sure the internal processes are robust to be able to support that.”

Related: Singapore saw 13x jump in crypto investments in 2021: KPMG

As previously reported, DBS Bank made a massive move into the crypto industry in recent years, setting up its own institutional-grade crypto exchange in December 2020. The company has been actively extending the range of supported digital asset services on the exchange, launching a crypto trust solution in May 2021.

In August, DBS Bank’s brokerage arm, DBS Vickers, was granted approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore to provide digital payment token services as a payment institution.

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