DBS Bank won’t extend crypto trading services to retail investors this year
While the bank acknowledged the growing interest in cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), it hinted that most regulators are “rightfully concerned” about allowing it in retail.
Mon, 04 Apr 2022, 09:04 am UTC
DBS Bank won’t be pushing through with its plans of launching crypto trading services for the retail market later this year. While the bank acknowledged the growing interest in cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), it hinted that most regulators are “rightfully concerned” about allowing it in retail.
Singapore’s largest lender is already offering crypto trading services to institutional clients. Launched in 2020, its DBS Digital Exchange currently operates as a members-only exchange with services available only to accredited institutional investors with a full-year trading volume for 2021 at around S$1.1 billion, according to Business Times.
DBS Bank said back in February this year that it is planning to extend the crypto trading service to retail investors by the end of this year. “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,” DBS Bank CEO Piyush Gupta revealed during the Q4 2021 earnings call on February 14. “And that includes making sure we appropriate thinking about things like potential fraud and others.”
The executive explained back then that the bank won’t be able to offer retail crypto trading services until the completion of this work, which meant that the service might be launched 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 added.
However, just more than a month after it revealed such a plan, the bank is now saying that it won’t likely offer crypto trading for retail investors anytime soon. Replying to a shareholder’s question, Gupta explained that most regulators are “rightfully concerned" about allowing it in the retail market.
“Left to ourselves, as I have said before, I think over time, digital currencies and crypto assets are going to be pervasive,” Gupta explained. “And therefore, sooner or later, I think the world will have to come to terms with this as an asset class. Not to replace money… but certainly, as a store value, I think it will have a role to play.”
However, it might take some time before digital currencies could be offered to Singapore’s retail investors. “But I'm not holding my breath,” he said. “I don't think the environment will allow us to make it available to retail anytime in the immediate future.”
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