DBS Private Starts Asia’s First Bank-Backed Crypto Trust Service

DBS Private Bank started Asia’s first bank-backed trust solution for cryptocurrencies as demand for digital assets increases.

The offering will allow private banking clients to invest, custodize and manage these assets in a safe, secure, and structured manner, DBS Group Holdings Ltd. said in a statement on Friday. It builds on the DBS Digital Exchange, which launched in December, and offers institutional investors and accredited investors a fully-integrated tokenization, trading and custody ecosystem for digital assets.

The service applies only to cryptocurrencies hosted on the digital exchange: Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and XRP.

Traditional financial companies are ramping up their crypto offerings as digital assets mature and soar in price, creating client demand. UBS Group AG is reportedly in the early stages of planning to offer crypto investments to wealthy clients. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are boosting their offerings. DBS has already joined JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Temasek in creating a blockchain payments platform.

DBS Private Starts Asia’s First Bank-Backed Crypto Trust Service

“Our trust structure allows clients to conveniently hold these assets, with a peace of mind that they will be safely managed and passed on to their intended beneficiaries,” said Joseph Poon, group head of DBS Private Bank.

As of the first quarter, DBS’s digital exchange held S$80 million ($60 million) in assets under custody, with trading volumes up 10-fold to S$30 million to S$40 million, the firm said. The exchange has 120 clients and “a robust pipeline awaiting onboarding.”

DBS said the digital exchange is working on efforts to conduct its first security token offering, and to expand operating hours from Asian time zones to round-the-clock.

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