Singapore on track to be a global hub for the blockchain and crypto ecosystem
Earlier this year, Singapore-based DBS Bank became one of the first traditional banks in the region to launch its own digital exchange after obtaining an in-principle approval as a recognised market operator by MAS. The ecosystem allows institutional and accredited investors in raising funds through offerings of security tokens and secondary trading of digital assets including cryptocurrencies.
During the bank’s second-quarter 2021 financial results briefing to analysts, DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta said the bank’s digital exchange did as much as S$180 million (US$133 million) of trading in the second quarter of 2021, and that it held about S$130 to S$140 million of digital assets under custody, as reported in the latest Forkast.News article by Michelle Lim.
On a separate news, after more than a year since Independent Reserve applied for a Major Payment Institution Licence in Singapore to MAS under the Payment Services Act, they finally became one of the first virtual asset service providers to receive an “in-principle approval” letter to operate as a regulated provider for Digital Payment Token Services.
The Payment Services Act (PSA), which came into effect last January 2020 in Singapore, requires all companies that offer digital token payment services to have a license to operate in the country.
While Independent Reserve’s application is the first to get approved, many more go-aheads are yet to come – from out of about 170 applicants, including global exchanges Binance and Gemini.
Regardless whether the digital exchanges are open to accredited and institutional investors or retail investors, looks like both the traditional players and new virtual assets service providers are taking advantage of the burgeoning market for crypto industry while Singapore is strengthening its lead in Asia’s digital asset hub status.