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Singapore’s state-owned megabank DBS is one of the few companies in the world that have benefited significantly from the massive cryptocurrency crashes in 2022.
DBS Digital Exchange, DBS Bank’s institutional cryptocurrency trading platform, saw significant increases in Bitcoin (BTC) trading volumes last year. According to DBS Digital Exchange CEO Lionel Lim, the number of DBS cryptocurrency customers has more than doubled in 2022 compared to the previous year.
“Bitcoin trading volumes on the digital exchange are up 80% over the same period,” Lim told Cointelegraph on May 8.
The executive believes that the surge in demand for cryptocurrency services on the DBS digital exchange is a consequence of the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange in 2022. Lim noted that DBS continues to see an uptrend in volumes. He decreed:
“DBS continues to capitalize on the pursuit of safety and quality after the collapse of several exchanges last year.”
Evi Theunis, head of digital assets at DBS Bank, also told Cointelegraph that DBS has received more collaboration requests from digital asset and blockchain companies in recent months.
Launched in 2020, the DBS cryptocurrency exchange caters exclusively to institutional investors. Lim noted that despite considering expanding services to retail clients last year, as of May 2023, DBS continues to be a member-only exchange catering to corporate and institutional investors.
FTX is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges that ceased to exist in 2022. Before FTX crashed in November 2022, the platform traded a significant amount of cryptocurrency coming from institutional investors. In March 2022, FTX launched a dedicated institutional division. At the time, about two-thirds of the trading volume on FTX and FTX US was reportedly in institutional accounts.
While pointing to the positive impact of crypto exchange disruptions in 2022, the CEO of DBS Digital Exchange does not see the impact of the ongoing banking crisis in the United States.
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“Some of our market makers have been looking for new US dollar bank rails since the collapse of US crypto banks,” Lim said. However, there was no direct impact on the DBS cryptocurrency exchange, he noted, stating:
“The collapse of US banks did not affect our line of products and services. However, we are closely monitoring these developments and are ready to adjust our plans if necessary.”
As a crypto-friendly bank, DBS is not worried about any risks allegedly associated with its exposure to cryptocurrencies.
“DBS does not remortgage or trade digital assets held by clients. So there is no liquidity risk,” Lim told Cointelegraph. “Our clients’ digital assets are held by DBS Bank, separate from DBS Digital Exchange,” the CEO noted.