DBS has on Wednesday reported an 80 percent year-on-year growth in the number of Bitcoin (BTC) traded on the DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx) in 2022, and a doubling in the number of BTC custodised with the bank’s digital asset custody solution.

DBS said in a statement that these robust business metrics underscore the trust that investors continue to place in DBS’ digital asset ecosystem in the face of unprecedented volatility in digital asset markets.

Investors who believe in the long-term prospects of digital assets are gravitating towards trusted and regulated platforms to access the market, and DBS has been a beneficiary of this flight of safety, said the bank.

According to the statement, in FY2022, the number of BTC traded on DDEx was close to 80 percent higher year-on-year, while the number of Ether (ETH) traded on DDEx was nearly 65 percent higher.

Customers continued to park more digital assets with the bank’s institutional-grade digital custody solution.

The number of BTC custodised with DBS as of 31 December 2022 more than doubled from 2021, while the number of ETH custodised grew over 60 percent in FY2022.

DBS said it adopts the industry best practice of holding all custodised digital assets separately within the bank itself using institutional-grade cold wallets.

It also said DDEx does not hold any custodised assets.

It said DBS also conducts coin purity checks on all digital assets entering its custody, and the bank fully complies with all prevailing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) / Know Your Customer (KYC) standards.

According to the statement, DDEx doubled its customer base in 2022 with close to 1,200 participants registered on the exchange as of December 31, 2022.

“Since inception in 2020, we have taken a prudent and measured approach towards developing our digital asset ecosystem, choosing to keep pace with the market as it matures and as investors become more sophisticated,” said Lionel Lim, Chief Executive Officer of the DBS Digital Exchange.

“We believe that the market has decisively shifted its focus towards trust and stability especially in the wake of multiple scandals that have rocked the industry,

“As a regulated digital exchange backed by the DBS Group, we offer many unique advantages that investors have come to appreciate as they seek reliable gateways to access the digital asset economy,” he added.

According to the statement, DDEx continues to be a members-only exchange serving corporate and institutional investors, accredited investors and family offices, who are generally better able to manage the market risks.

Consequently, DBS did not observe any major selloffs in 2022, with DDEx observing a nett buy position for its customers throughout the second half of the year.

Commenting on opportunities in the Security Token Offering (STO) space, Lim said that in 2022, the firm saw growing interest from its corporate clients and was actively working towards converting a number of enquiries into STOs.

“However, these were put on hold given the market volatility as well as macroeconomic uncertainty. We will continue to work with these potential issuers as well as explore origination opportunities for high quality STO listings in 2023,” he added.

Despite the market uncertainty, DBS said it achieved a number of significant milestones for its digital asset ecosystem in 2022.

In September, self-directed cryptocurrency trading was rolled out via DBS digibank, providing accredited investors who bank with DBS seamless access to DDEx’s trading solutions. Today, over 90 percent of trades by the bank’s wealth clients are executed digitally.

In October, DDEx availed cryptocurrency trading for Polkadot (DOT) and Cardano (ADA), bringing the total number of cryptocurrencies available for spot trading to six – in addition to BTC, ETH, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and XRP.

DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 19 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, the bank is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia.

The bank provides a full range of services in consumer, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and corporate banking.

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