DBS Reportedly Seeking Crypto Trading License in Hong Kong
Singapore-based banking giant DBS said it plans to apply for a license to offer crypto trading services in Hong Kong as the city ramps up efforts to become a regional crypto hub. Hong Kong officials recently said the government had finalized its crypto regulation framework, which is expected to be effective later this year.
DBS Bets on Crypto
DBS, the largest bank in Singapore, intends to apply for a license to begin offering crypto trading services in Hong Kong, Bloomberg reported Monday. The move is aligned with Hong Kong’s ambitions as the Chinese territory attempts to restore its regional financial hub status.
“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 Sebastian Paredes, CEO of DBS Bank (Hong Kong).
DBS’s deeper foray into crypto comes after the bank introduced its crypto trading service in Singapore last year. The bank launched a feature that allows accredited investors to trade cryptocurrencies on DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx).
However, Singapore tightened crypto regulations in 2022 following the collapses of high-profile crypto businesses such as Three Arrows Capital (3AC) amid a broader market downturn. Historically, Singapore has been viewed as one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the world.
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Hong Kong Completes Crypto Regulation Framework amid Attempts to Restore Fintech Hub Status
Earlier this month, Hong Kong Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan said that the government has completed developing its crypto regulation framework. The new framework needed to issue licenses to digital asset service providers is expected to come into force in June 2023.
In its briefing, DBS said it welcomes the Hong Kong policies, adding it is very aware of the risks associated with crypto assets. Sebastian Paredes, CEO of DBS Hong Kong, said DBS will be one of the interested lenders once the regulations in Hong Kong are unambiguous and the bank “understands exactly the framework.”
Hong Kong announced in October 2022 its plan to legalize crypto retail trading via a mandatory licensing program as part of its broader plan to become a crypto hub following years of political turmoil and punishing Covid crackdowns. The city-state authorities said regulators would allow the trading of significant crypto tokens, claiming they will not endorse specific coins like Bitcoin or Ether. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government said last month it is looking to launch tokenized green bonds for institutional investors.
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