Singapore’s DBS, a major bank, was among the few companies globally that benefited from the massive collapses in the crypto industry in 2022.
DBS Bank’s institutional crypto trading platform, DBS Digital Exchange, saw a significant increase in trading volumes for Bitcoin (BTC) last year. DBS Digital Exchange CEO Lionel Lim revealed that the amount of Bitcoin stored for DBS clients more than doubled in 2022.
According to Lim, “Bitcoin trading volumes grew 80% at the digital exchange during the same period.” He believes that the reason behind the spike in demand for crypto services at DBS Digital Exchange was due to the collapse of several crypto exchanges in 2022. Lim confirmed that DBS continues to witness a growth trend in volumes. He further added:
“DBS continues to benefit from the flight to safety and quality following the implosion of several exchanges last year.”
DBS Bank’s head of digital assets, Evy Theunis, also revealed that DBS had received more cooperation inquiries from digital asset and blockchain firms in recent months.
DBS cryptocurrency exchange was initially launched in 2020 for serving institutional investors. However, in September 2022, DBS Digital Exchange expanded access to its products for accredited investors. Currently, the digital asset platform provides services to corporate and institutional investors, accredited investors, and family offices.
Before FTX collapsed in November 2022, more than half of crypto trading on the platform came from institutional investors. Additionally, in March 2022, FTX launched a dedicated unit working with institutions, and at the time, around two-thirds of trading volumes on FTX and FTX US were from institutional accounts.
Despite the ongoing banking crisis in the United States, Lim sees no influence on DBS’ crypto exchange. He stated that “some of our market makers sought new USD banking rails following the collapse of crypto-friendly U.S. banks.” However, there’s been no direct impact on DBS’ crypto exchange, and they are continually monitoring the situation to adjust their plans if necessary.
As a crypto-friendly bank, DBS believes that its cryptocurrency exposure has no liquidity risks. Lim also confirmed that “DBS does not rehypothecate or trade digital assets in clients’ custody. As such, there is no liquidity risk, and our clients’ digital assets are in custody with DBS Bank, separate from DBS Digital Exchange.”