Singapore megabank DBS is among the few companies worldwide that reaped major benefits from massive crypto industry collapses in 2022.
DBS Digital Exchange, DBS Bank’s institutional crypto trading platform, saw a significant increase in Bitcoin (BTC) trading volumes last year. According to DBS Digital Exchange CEO Lionel Lim, the amount of Bitcoin that DBS stored for its clients more than doubled in 2022 compared to the previous year.
“Bitcoin trading volumes grew 80% at the digital exchange during the same period,” Lim said in an interview with Cointelegraph on May 8.
The executive believes that the spike in demand for crypto services at DBS Digital Exchange is a consequence of crypto exchange collapses in 2022. Lim noted that DBS continues to see a growing trend in volumes. He stated:
“DBS continues to benefit from the flight to safety and quality following the implosion of several exchanges last year.”
Evy Theunis, head of digital assets at DBS Bank, also told Cointelegraph that DBS had seen more cooperation inquiries from digital asset and blockchain firms in recent months.
Launched in 2020, DBS’ cryptocurrency exchange initially served exclusively institutional investors. In September 2022, DBS Digital Exchange expanded access to its products to accredited investors, who are individuals. The digital asset platform currently provides services to corporate and institutional investors, accredited investors and family offices.
Before FTX collapsed in November 2022, a significant amount of crypto trading on the platform came from institutional investors. In March 2022, FTX launched a dedicated unit working with institutions. At the time, about two-thirds of trading volumes on FTX and FTX US were reportedly coming from institutional accounts.
While indicating a positive impact from crypto exchange crashes in 2022, Lim sees no influence coming from the ongoing banking crisis in the United States.
“Some of our market makers sought new USD banking rails following the collapse of the crypto-friendly U.S. banks,” Lim said. However, there has been no direct impact on DBS’ crypto exchange, he noted, stating:
“The collapse of the U.S. banks has not impacted our product and service pipeline. That said, we keep a close watch on these developments and are prepared to adjust our plans if necessary.”
While being a crypto-friendly bank itself, DBS believes that there are no liquidity risks associated with its cryptocurrency exposure.
“DBS does not rehypothecate or trade digital assets in clients’ custody. As such, there is no liquidity risk,” Lim told Cointelegraph. “Our clients’ digital assets are in custody with DBS Bank, separate from DBS Digital Exchange,” the CEO noted.