The Business Times

DBS brokerage arm gains MAS crypto licence

Kelly Ng
Published Fri, Oct 1, 2021 · 09:59 AM

SOUTH-EAST Asia's largest bank DBS has gotten approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to provide digital payment token (DPT) services.

This was one of two such licences granted on Friday - the other to Australian crypto exchange Independent Reserve.

The licence awarded to DBS's brokerage arm DBS Vickers allows it to directly support asset managers and companies to trade in digital payment tokens through the DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx).

The members-only bourse was launched last December - a move welcomed by many players hoping that a reputable bank's entrance into the digital assets space will bring credibility and more adoption.

"Having received formal regulatory approval from MAS, DBS Vickers is now in a better position to support institutional and corporate investors in tapping into the growing potential of digital assets as an investment class," said Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, the exchange's chair and head of capital markets at DBS, in a statement on Friday.

"We believe that DBSV's licence, coupled with recent enhancements to DDEx such as round the-clock operations since August, could add to DDEx's volumes in the coming months and accelerate growth momentum for DBS's digital asset ecosystem."

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DBS expects to double the number of participants on the exchange to 1,000 and to grow its base by 20-30 per cent annually for the next three years.

Meanwhile, Independent Reserve's Singapore managing director Raks Sondhi said being awarded the licence "concretises (its) commitment to Singapore".

The exchange will make Singapore its Asean headquarters, and plans to venture into other regional markets, such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, he said. It is also exploring partnerships with other traditional financial institutions in the citystate.

MAS awarded the first of these much-coveted DPT licences to mobile payents firm FOMO Pay in early September.

Close to 170 applicants are still awaiting the results of their DPT licence applications. Most have been operating with an exemption from holding a licence, under transitional arrangements in the Payment Services Act. The exemption is in force until applications are approved or rejected by the MAS, or withdrawn by the applicant.

Read more:

  • Crypto exchange Independent Reserve obtains MAS license
  • FOMO Pay obtains new MAS licences to operate three more regulated activities

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