DBS Private Bank starts Asia’s first bank-backed crypto trust service

This trust offering applies only to bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and XRP. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - DBS Private Bank started Asia's first bank-backed trust solution for cryptocurrencies as demand for digital assets increases.

The offering will allow private banking clients to invest, custodize and manage these assets in a safe, secure, and structured manner, DBS Group Holdings said in a statement on Friday (May 14). It builds on the DBS Digital Exchange, which launched in December, and offers institutional investors and accredited investors a fully-integrated tokenization, trading and custody ecosystem for digital assets.

The service applies only to cryptocurrencies hosted on the digital exchange: Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and XRP.

Traditional financial companies are ramping up their crypto offerings as digital assets mature and soar in price, creating client demand. UBS Group is reportedly in the early stages of planning to offer crypto investments to wealthy clients. Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley are boosting their offerings. DBS has already joined JPMorgan Chase & Co and Temasek Holdings in creating a blockchain payments platform.

"Our trust structure allows clients to conveniently hold these assets, with a peace of mind that they will be safely managed and passed on to their intended beneficiaries," said Joseph Poon, group head of DBS Private Bank.

As of the first quarter, DBS's digital exchange held $80 million in assets under custody, with trading volumes up 10-fold to $30 million to $40 million, the firm said. The exchange has 120 clients and "a robust pipeline awaiting onboarding."

DBS said the digital exchange is working on efforts to conduct its first security token offering, and to expand operating hours from Asian time zones to round-the-clock.

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