DBS exchange says its Bitcoin trading surged amid global sell-off

While DBS saw strong traction in its digital exchange, it has pushed back plans to offer crypto trading for retail investors. PHOTO: REUTERS

MUMBAI (BLOOMBERG) - DBS Group Holdings said the number of trades on its digital exchange more than doubled in June from two months earlier, with buys accounting for 90 per cent in contrast to a massive sell-off in crypto assets globally.

The quantity of the world's largest token, Bitcoin, bought on the members-only exchange was four times higher than in April, according to a statement from South-east Asia's largest lender, which did not provide numbers for other months. DBS launched the digital exchange in December 2020.

Cryptocurrency prices have fallen sharply since May, when the collapse of stablecoin project Terra set off a wave of liquidations, bankruptcies and layoffs in the sector.

"Investors today are instead seeking out safe harbours to trade and store their digital assets amid the ongoing market volatility," Mr Lionel Lim, chief executive officer of DBS Digital Exchange, said in the statement.

While the bank has seen strong traction in its digital exchange, which serves institutional investors and family offices, it has pushed back its plans to offer crypto trading for retail investors, citing technological challenges and resistance from regulators.

Singapore is walking a fine line between building a blockchain hub in which innovations can flourish and protecting retail investors from crypto markets' volatility.

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