Singapore government-owned megabank DBS is among the few companies around the world that reaped major benefits from massive cryptocurrency collapses in 2022.
DBS Digital Exchange, DBS Bank’s institutional crypto trading platform, saw a significant increase in Bitcoin (BTC) trading volumes last year. According to DBS Digital Exchange CEO Lionel Lim, the number of DBS crypto clients more than doubled in 2022 compared to the previous year.
“Bitcoin trading volumes grew 80% at the digital exchange during the same period,” Lim said in an interview with Cointelegraph on May 8.
The executive believes that the spike in demand for crypto services at DBS Digital Exchange is a consequence of crypto exchange collapses in 2022. Lim noted that DBS continues seeing a growing trend in volumes. He stated:“DBS continues to benefit from the flight to safety and quality following the implosion of several exchanges last year.”
Evy Theunis, head of digital assets at DBS Bank, also told Cointelegraph that DBS has seen more cooperation enquiries from digital asset and blockchain firms in recent months.
Launched in 2020, DBS’ cryptocurrency exchange serves exclusively institutional investors. Despite considering expanding services to retail customers last year, DBS continues to be a members-only exchange serving corporate and institutional investors as of May 2023, Lim noted.
FTX is one of the biggest crypto exchanges that subsided in 2022. Before FTX collapsed in November 2022, the platform traded a significant amount of crypto coming from institutional investors. In March 2022, FTX launched a dedicated unit working with institutions. At the time, about two-thirds of trading volumes on FTX and FTX US were reportedly coming from institutional accounts.
While indicating a positive impact from crypto exchange crashes in 2022, DBS Digital Exchange CEO sees no influence coming from the ongoing banking crisis in the United States.
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“Some of our market makers sought new USD banking rails following the collapse of the crypto-friendly US banks,” Lim said. However, there has been no direct impact on DBS’ crypto exchange, he noted, stating:“The collapse of the US banks has not impacted our product and service pipeline. That said, we keep a close watch on these developments and are prepared to adjust our plans if necessary.”
While being a crypto-friendly bank itself, DBS is not worried about any risks allegedly stemming from its crypto exposure.
“DBS does not rehypothecate or trade digital assets in clients’ custody. As such, there is no liquidity risk,” Lim told Cointelegraph. “Our clients’ digital assets are in custody with DBS Bank, separate from DBS Digital Exchange,” the CEO noted.
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