DBS's brokerage arm gets go-ahead from MAS to provide digital payment token services

It is one of the first to receive the in-principle approval.

Jean Chien Tay | August 12, 2021, 09:40 PM

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DBS Bank announced that its brokerage arm DBS Vickers has received in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to begin offering trading services for digital payment tokens (DPT) in a statement on Aug. 12.

DBS Vickers is among the first few financial institutions to receive the approval under the Payment Services Act, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, DBS Vickers is working on the necessary steps in order to meet MAS’ requirements for the licence.

Once licensed, DBS Vickers will be able to directly support asset managers and companies to trade in DPTs through the DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx), a members-only platform for Institutional Investors and Accredited Investors.

DDEx members can trade between four fiat currencies (SGD, USD, HKD, JPY) and four cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and XRP.

DDEx also features Security Token Offerings (STOs), which allows companies to raise capital from accredited investors. The Security Tokens offered will be based on the company's real and financial assets.

The statement added that DDEx will be operating around the clock from Aug. 16 onwards, enabling members to trade anytime outside of 7am to 8am Singapore time, when a daily system refresh will be carried out.

The exchange currently only operates during Asian trading hours.

DBS: Steady growth for DDEx

DBS Group's Head of Capital Markets, Eng-Kwok Seat Moey said the organisation is "pleased" with the "steady progress" on their digital asset ecosystem. 

Launched in 2020, the service has onboarded around 400 investors as of Jun. 2021.

Eng-Kwok added that she is confident of doubling DDEx's investor base by the end of the year.

It has also recorded almost S$180 million in trading value in the second quarter this year (Apr. to Jun. 2021), five times the volume in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, the statement added that DBS has over SGD 130 million in digital assets in its custodial services, and is drafting plans to build a pipeline of potential Security Token Offerings (STOs).

DDEx listed its first STO in Jun. 2021, in the form of an S$15 million digital bond.

According to Eng-Kwok, DBS's move will "contribute to Singapore’s ambitions to be a digital asset hub in Asia".

Top image via DBS website

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