For The Sake Of Retail Investors, Southeast Asia’s Largest Bank DBS Launches Crypto Trading

Singapore’s largest bank is bringing crypto trading to your living room. In an announcement on Monday (Feb 4), DBS said it will launch its new “BuySell” cryptocurrency trading service for retail customers.

The bank became the first in Asia to launch a digital wallet for blockchain-based assets, allowing users to buy, sell and store Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC). With this new offering, crypto purchases can be made on the user’s mobile banking app or on DBS’ online platform. “Customers would simply log into their DBS/POSB accounts and transact directly on our digital exchange on their phone,” said Piyush Gupta, group CEO of DBS Group Holdings.

“At this early stage of our game plan, we are inviting friends to join us as beta testers of the BuySell service via an invite-only mode,” Gupta added. “We will gradually roll out the service to all our customers in Singapore.”

DBS launched its blockchain-powered wallet app last April, with ties to crypto exchange BitGo. Unlike most banks that view crypto as a threat, DBS said it’s actively embracing blockchain technology and even plans to launch its own digital token. In May 2018, the bank joined other global lenders such as HSBC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a venture looking to create digital cash on distributed ledger tech (DLT).

In launching this buysell cryptocurrency trading, DBS is tapping into surging demand for cryptocurrencies while many large financial institutions remain wary of them amid regulatory concerns. According to data from CoinMarketCap , Bitcoin has lost more than 60% of its value since hitting an all-time high near $20,000 in December 2017. On the other hand, Ethereum has lost about half of its value during that period.

As reported by Reuters , DBS said it would charge a 0.1 per cent fee for each transaction conducted on its new trading platform at launch, with plans to reduce that to just 0.01 per cent over time.

It will also allow customers to trade using their virtual currency wallets linked directly to their bank accounts – unlike some other exchanges where trades are settled in separate wallets outside the user’s main wallet. “We understand blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are nascent technologies,” said Gupta. “More importantly, we understand that crypto tokens are becoming a preferred mode of digital payment and settlement in the regional market.”

DBS Group Holdings is Southeast Asia’s largest bank by assets. Its businesses are divided into four key areas: commercial banking, global markets, Treasury & Markets and consumer banking. The bank has more than 2 million customers worldwide.