Southeast Asia’s Biggest Commercial Bank DBS Considers Applying for Cryptocurrency License in Hong Kong


Expanding cryptocurrency services to Hong Kong

DBS Bank, the largest commercial bank in Southeast Asia and Singapore, has announced its intention to apply for a license to provide crypto asset (virtual currency) trading services in Hong Kong. 13, Bloomberg reported.

“We plan to apply for a license in Hong Kong so that DBS can sell digital assets to customers in Hong Kong,” Sebastian Paredes, chief executive of DBS Bank (Hong Kong), said in a briefing.

In October last year, the Hong Kong government announced its support for the development of the cryptocurrency industry. It is also active in attracting related companies such as exchanges. Hong Kong’s Legislative Council passed a law in December of the same year to introduce a licensing system for virtual currency service providers (VASPs).

DBS Bank remains sensitive to risks related to digital assets, but welcomes Hong Kong’s policy shift, Paredes said. Once Hong Kong’s regulations are clarified and the bank “gets the framework right,” he said, DBS will be one of the financial institutions interested in entering.

DBS and Singapore trends

In December 2020, the DBS Group launched the “DBS Digital Exchange,” a digital asset exchange including virtual currencies, for institutional investors. Qualified investors such as financial institutions, family offices and professional market makers are targeted.

In February 2010, it announced a plan to provide services for individual investors by the end of the same year, but it has not materialized due to the turmoil in the market caused by a series of bankruptcies of major cryptocurrency-related companies.

In August last year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the central bank of Singapore, announced a policy to develop a stricter financial licensing system and tighten regulations on cryptocurrency trading by individual investors. In the background, the major virtual currency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), which filed for bankruptcy in the United States in July, reported false information to MAS and violated regulations such as trading exceeding the prescribed asset management amount. It became clear that an investigation was underway.

connection:Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Announces Policy to Tighten Regulations for Individual Cryptocurrency Investors

While being cautious about cryptocurrency trading, MAS and DBS are actively working on joint projects utilizing blockchain technology.

DBS participates in Project Ubin, an exploration of securities settlement and settlement methods sponsored by MAS. In May of last year, it also launched a joint initiative to test the feasibility of digital assets with the cooperation of US financial giant JP Morgan.

Furthermore, in October 2010, DBS announced that it would collaborate with the Singapore government to conduct a demonstration experiment of issuing tokenized Singapore dollars. This experiment will be conducted as part of Project Orchid, which is being promoted by MAS with the aim of realizing a digital Singapore dollar.

connection:Singapore Government and DBS Bank Experiment with Digital Currency Coupon Distribution

Hong Kong aims to become a cryptocurrency hub

Hong Kong is turning to support the cryptocurrency industry as Singapore becomes more cautious about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies.

In October last year, the Hong Kong government, as an international financial hub, announced a policy to attract cryptocurrency-related companies that are proactive in innovation, and to develop legislation in cooperation with the financial authorities. On January 9th this year, Treasury Secretary Paul Chan reiterated in his speech that Hong Kong aims to become a regional cryptocurrency hub.

Chan said many large technology companies and high-tech start-ups have contacted the Hong Kong government and are planning to set up offices in Hong Kong or go public.

connection:“Make Hong Kong the center of cryptocurrency,” stressed Treasury Secretary

Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) CEO Julia Leung Fung-yee said on January 11 that the Hong Kong authorities are developing regulations to allow individual investors to trade cryptocurrencies. She said that the SFC plans to issue a consultation document in the current quarter (January-March) on the terms and conditions under which individual investors can trade cryptocurrencies, as well as the licensing requirements for trading platforms.

On January 31st, the Monetary Authority announced its policy on the regulation of cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. He outlined regulated activities, primarily related to stablecoins, and a comprehensive regulatory framework.

connection:Hong Kong Authorities Decide on Regulatory Policy on Virtual Currencies and Stablecoins

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