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Investing in cryptocurrency

In a recent earnings call, the CEO of Singapore's DBS crypto exchange said that his firm's first emphasis is on extending its cryptocurrency services to accredited and institutional investors and that the bank would explore starting a retail line of business if regulators and technology are in place.

According to the DBS crypto exchange, a retail cryptocurrency trading desk would be launched by the end of 2022, which said this on its prior results call in February. On the other hand, it reversed course completely in early April and cited regulatory concerns as the reason.

CEO Piyush Gupta did not directly rule out the possibility of a retail cryptocurrency sale, but he did state that the bank would prefer to concentrate on its accredited and institutional offers to develop and expand the technology.

The CEO said on the conference call that "we currently have a substantial, wealthy, accredited investor crypto base that we can grow." "We will not be doing any retail crypto in Singapore this year," says the company. Gupta went on to say that the technology needed to construct a retail exchange is "taking a little longer than thought to come together."

DBS crypto digital exchange offering is only available to accredited investors in Singapore, classified as people with assets worth more than SGD 2 million ($1.5 million).

Gupta said that trade activity "slowed a little bit" over the previous quarter, but that volume has continued to climb. DBS' cryptocurrency exchange currently has about SGD 1 billion ($724 million) in cryptocurrency in its possession for institutional crypto trading. 

With a population of 5.6 million people, Singapore is home to more than 526,000 persons who have a net worth of more than $1 million and 4200 people who have a net worth of more than $30 million, according to the World Wealth Report.

Even though the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has established a licensing structure that is beneficial for institutional cryptocurrency investors, the regulator is averse to civilian participation in the asset class.

Because retail investors should not be dabbling with DBS retail crypto trading, we have taken a firm stance against uncontrolled access to the general public. According to Ravi Menon, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director, "many foreign authorities have similar worries about retail exposure to cryptocurrencies."


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