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Southeast Asia’s Largest Bank DBS Unveils Plan to Expand Crypto Services in Hong Kong

DBS, the largest bank in Southeast Asia, has unveiled its plan to expand its crypto services in Hong Kong. “We are planning to apply for a license in Hong Kong so that the bank could sell digital assets to our Hong Kong customers,” said an executive of the bank.

DBS Bank to Apply for Digital Asset License in Hong Kong

DBS Group Holdings has unveiled its plan to expand its services in Hong Kong. The Straits Times reported Monday that the bank plans to apply for a license to offer crypto trading services to Hong Kong customers. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is the largest bank in Southeast Asia with a presence in 18 markets.

Sebastian Paredes, CEO of DBS Bank (Hong Kong), said at a briefing on Monday:

We are planning to apply for a license in Hong Kong so that the bank could sell digital assets to our Hong Kong customers.

The executive stated that once the regulations around crypto assets in Hong Kong are clear and the bank “understands exactly the framework,” DBS will be among the lenders interested in participating. He noted that while DBS is aware of the risks associated with digital assets, the bank is supportive of Hong Kong’s recent policy shift.

Hong Kong is currently seeking to attract digital asset businesses. In January, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po reaffirmed the city’s commitment to become a crypto hub. Unlike China’s anti-crypto stance, the Hong Kong government is considering granting greater access for retail investors to trade in cryptocurrencies and crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

DBS launched a full-service bitcoin exchange in Singapore for corporate and institutional investors in late 2020. After seeing increased trading volume, the bank launched a crypto trust service, followed by its first security token offering. DBS continued to expand its crypto business citing “growing demand.”

The bank obtained a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to provide crypto services in October 2021 and subsequently launched a self-directed crypto trading service. Furthermore, DBS entered the metaverse in September last year.

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Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.




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