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The Monetary Authority of Singapore has granted DBS Bank permission to offer cryptocurrency payment services.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has given its approval in principle for DBS Bank's brokerage unit to begin delivering crypto services to asset managers and companies.

The country's banking regulator gave the go-ahead to DBS Vickers (DBSV) under the Payment Services Act.

Singapore's payment act was passed in 2019, mandating all-digital payment service companies to get a licence before operating. DBSV claims that if the licence is approved, it will be able to provide direct support to managers and businesses via its DBS Digital Exchange (DDex), which will provide them access to its digital payment token services.

According to the press release, DDEx will be open “24 hours a day, seven days a week.” This means that DDEx members will be able to trade on the exchange at any time, boosting their capacity to take advantage of opportunities and manage risks associated with fluctuations in bitcoin spot prices. To allow for the fine-tuning of operations and regulations, the exchange initially only operated during Asian trading hours.

DBSV claims to be one of the first few financial institutions to receive such approval, and it plans to complete the necessary follow-ups in order to meet MAS' licence criteria.

It comes after DBS conducted a private placement of an SGD$15 million (US$11.3 million) digital bond in its maiden security token offering via DDex, which was completed in May.

DBS Group Head of Capital Markets Eng-Kwok Seat Moey stated, "We are glad to have made steady progress on our digital asset ecosystem in the six months since we launched the DDEx last year, and this shows in our trading and custody activity."

He acknowledged that there is a lot of desire among asset managers and corporations for access to digital payment token services, and that DBSV is ready to accommodate that demand now that it has received in-principle permission under the PS Act.

Further plans, according to the announcement, include doubling DDEx's investor base by the end of the year in order to accelerate its growth.

Southeast Asia's largest lender recently reported that in the second quarter of 2021, its digital exchange did up to SGD$180 million (US$133 million) in trading and kept roughly SGD$130 to SGD$140 million in digital assets under custody.

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