DBS Digital Exchange’s Customer Base Doubled in 2022
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DBS Digital Exchange’s Customer Base Doubled in 2022

DBS's DDEx exchange saw an 80% increase in Bitcoin trading volume as it doubled its customer base last year.
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Singapore’s DBS bank has revealed that Bitcoin trading volume on its Digital Exchange (DDEx) saw an uptick last year despite the broader crypto market downturn. The exchange also saw a significant increase in its user base and the number of crypto assets in the bank’s custody as well.

DBS Continues to Double Down on Crypto Offerings

DBS, the largest bank in Singapore, made a foray into crypto last year by introducing its crypto trading service in Singapore. The bank launched a service that allows accredited investors to trade certain digital assets on its Digital Exchange (DDEx).

It is worth noting that the bank initially intended to launch a retail crypto trading desk by the end of 2022. However, in April, DBS said it wants to focus on providing crypto services to accredited institutional investors as a retail trading desk is “taking a bit longer than expected.”

In late October, DBS announced a partnership with Open Government Products (OPG), an experimental tech division of Singapore’s government, to launch a live pilot that will enable the issuance of “purpose-bound money-based (PBM) vouchers.” The vouchers will be issued through the use of tokenized Singapore dollars (SGD) “to facilitate “real-world” live transactions with selected merchants,” the bank said at the time. 

And more recently, DBS has unveiled that it plans to apply for a license to begin offering crypto trading services in Hong Kong. The move came as Hong Kong officials said the government had finalized its crypto regulation framework, which is expected to come into effect later this year. 

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DBS Digital Exchange Sees an Uptick in Activity

DBS’s DDEx exchange saw a surge in activity last year despite bad market conditions. The exchange reported a year-on-year increase of 80% in Bitcoin trading volume last year, according to a Wednesday press release. 

The number of Bitcoin under custody, or stored securely, with the bank’s digital asset custody solution also doubled in the same period. Furthermore, the number of Ethereum under the bank’s custody jumped 60%, while the number of ETH traded on DDEx was almost 65% higher compared to 2021. 

Lionel Lim, CEO of the DBS Digital Exchange, attributed the surge in activity to the fact that the exchange is regulated and reliable. He said a string of unfortunate events, such as the implosions of hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and Sam Bankman-Fried’s exchange FTX, battered confidence in the sector, forcing users to seek more reliable alternatives. 

“We believe that the market has decisively shifted its focus towards trust and stability, especially in the wake of multiple scandals that have rocked the industry. As a regulated digital exchange backed by the DBS Group, we offer many unique advantages that investors have come to appreciate as they seek reliable gateways to access the digital asset economy.”

Set up in late 2020, DDEx is a members-only exchange backed by DBS bank. The platform offers accredited investors, financial institutions, and family offices that bank with DBS access to cryptocurrency and digital assets. 

The bank said that they did not see any significant selloffs last year, noting that DDEx saw a net buy position for its customers throughout the second half of the year. 

Lim added that they saw a growing interest in security-token offerings last year but had to put them on hold due to market volatility and macroeconomic uncertainty. “We will continue to work with these potential issuers as well as explore origination opportunities for high quality STO listings in 2023.”

Meanwhile, Bitcoin is trading at over $22,200, up by around 2% over the past day. Similarly, Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, has gained 3% over the past 24 hours. The surge in crypto prices comes as the latest US CPI print showed annual inflation cooling to 6.4% in January.

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