DBS Vickers, the brokerage arm of DBS Bank, announced yesterday (August 12) that it has received in-principal approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) under the Payment Services Act (PS Act) to provide digital payment token services as a major payment institution.
This makes them Singapore’s second crypto player to secure an in-principle approval from MAS to offer token services, after Australian crypto exchange Independent Reserve was allowed to operate as a fully regulated digital asset service provider last week.
According to the press release, DBS Vickers — which is part of the DBS Digital Exchange (DDEX) — will be able to directly support asset managers and companies to trade in digital payment tokens once they receive the full license.
It is currently still unclear when the service will be rolled out as DBS Vickers is working through the necessary follow-ups towards meeting MAS’ requirements for the operating licence.
Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, Group Head of Capital Markets at DBS, commented: “We are pleased 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.”
“We have seen keen interest among asset managers and corporates for access to digital payment token services, and with DBSV receiving in-principle approval under the PS Act, we are well-placed to meet this growing demand. This could add to DDEx’s volumes in the coming months, and coupled with DDEx going operational round the-clock, help accelerate growth for DDEx.”
“We are confident of doubling our investor base by the end of the year. This bodes well for our ability to provide integrated solutions across the digital asset value chain notably in the form of STOs, leveraging DBS’ expertise in deal origination to tokenisation, listing, distribution, trading and custody. This will contribute to Singapore’s ambitions to be a digital asset hub in Asia,” she added.
Steady growth of digital exchange
Since the launch of DBS’ digital exchange, around 400 institutional and accredited investors have been onboarded to trade on the exchange as at end-June 2021. This is up from just 120 investors the quarter before, representing a growth of more than 233 per cent growth in numbers.
The digital exchange, also recorded close to S$180 million in total trading value in the second quarter this year, more than five times the value traded in the previous quarter. The bank also revealed that it has over S$130 million in digital assets in its custodial services.
Currently, traders are able to trade four cryptocurrencies on the DBS Digital exchange: Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and XRP.
In the previous earnings call, DBS’ CEO Piyush shared an optimistic view of the future of cryptocurrency.
I do think given the amount of interest in all the four cryptos that we trade now, that interest is quite high. And therefore, I do think it will pick up. But whether it picks up to tens of millions, or hundreds of millions of income over the next few years, it’s hard to say.
So my thinking is, we should get in there, figure it out and grow and then we’ll get a better sense for how big this could be in time.
– Piyush Gupta, DBS CEO
MAS continues to sift through applications
Other than DBS Vickers, a few other applicants were recently notified by MAS recently that they too will be granted the payment services licenses under the Payment Services Act.
They are among the first batch of licenses recipient to be able to operate digital payment token services in Singapore.
MAS also shared with Forkast News that they have received over 170 license applications by digital payment token service providers. Thirty applications were withdrawn after engagement with MAS, and two were rejected.
Featured Image Credit: DBS Vickers / Edgar Su via Reuters