Asian Bank DBS Walks Back Bitcoin Trading Announcement

Southeast Asia’s largest bank announced—and then hastily unpublished—the launch of an on-ramp for Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and Bitcoin Cash.

By Adriana Hamacher

2 min read

UPDATE: A spokesperson for DBS has sent Decrypt the following statement: "DBS’ plans for a digital exchange are still work in process, and have not received regulatory approvals. Until such time as approvals are in place, no further announcements will be made." 

DBS, the largest bank in Southeast Asia by way of assets, has published—and then removed— an announcement that it’s launching a fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange for Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP

The hastily-deleted announcement revealed that “DBS Digital Exchange” is backed by the Singapore-based commercial and retail bank, and by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

According to the announcement, the exchange will not hold any cryptocurrencies:

“Unlike most digital exchanges today, DBS Digital Exchange does not hold any digital assets. Instead, all digital assets are kept at DBS Bank, which is globally recognized for its custodial services.” 

The bank has deployed an institutional-grade custody solution, DBS Digital Custody, to safeguard customer assets, said the announcement. 

DBS Digital Exchange also plans to support security tokens (which are “listed cryptographic tokens backed by real assets such as equities, physical properties, fixed income instruments, and even fine art”) in the future.

Industry observers welcomed the news (before the announcement was removed.)

“This will immediately become the easiest on-ramp for those who bank in Singapore,” tweeted Su Zhu, CEO of Singapore-based cryptocurrency fund, Three Arrows Capital.

“Not sure if the #BTC is transferrable yet, but regardless a step in the right direction,” said Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by market cap.

The DBS move complements a string of good tidings hitting the cryptocurrency industry recently: last week, PayPal announced it would integrate crypto, and earlier this month, MicroStrategy, a publicly-traded business intelligence company and Jack Dorsey’s mobile payments firm Square announced major investments in Bitcoin.

This is a breaking story and will be updated as news comes in.

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