DBS, the largest bank in Southeast Asia, has reported a significant increase in bitcoin trading volumes on its cryptocurrency exchange in 2022. The bank’s digital asset exchange, DBS Digital Exchange (DDEX), also saw a surge in ether trading volumes, making 2022 a record year for the exchange.
According to the bank, the amount of bitcoin traded on DDEX has increased by almost 80% compared to the previous year, while the number of ethereum transactions has surged by almost 65%. The bank also highlighted that the amount of bitcoin and ether in DBS custody has increased by more than 100% and 60%, respectively.
Lionel Lim, chief executive of the bank’s DBS Digital Exchange, attributed the increase in trading volumes to the market’s focus on trust and stability, especially in the wake of the multiple scandals that rocked the industry.
“We think the market has decisively shifted its focus to trust and stability, especially after the multiple scandals that rocked the industry,” Lim said.
Launched in December 2020, DBS Digital Exchange is a membership-based exchange for institutional and accredited investors. In September 2021, the bank launched autonomous cryptocurrency trading through its DBS Digibank app.
Currently, DBS Digital Exchange offers spot trading in six cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, DOT, and ADA. The bank said its customer base would double in 2022 from the previous year, with almost 1,200 registered participants on DBS exchanges as of the end of December.
“As a DBS-backed regulated digital exchange, we offer a number of unique advantages that investors have come to appreciate as they seek a reliable route into the digital asset economy,” Lim explained.
The bank added that despite the crypto winter and several major players in the space filing for bankruptcy, it did not observe any major cryptocurrency sell-offs on its platform in the last year. The bank said clients on its exchange held net long positions throughout the second half of 2022.
“We have taken a cautious and deliberate approach in developing the digital asset ecosystem, choosing to evolve in tandem with the market as it matures and investors become more sophisticated,” Lim said.
Last week, DBS announced plans to expand its cryptocurrency services to customers in Hong Kong. The bank aims to apply for a digital asset license as the city strives to become a crypto hub.
The significant increase in DBS Digital Exchange volumes reflects the continued strength of the bank’s digital asset ecosystem despite market volatility, and highlights the growing interest in cryptocurrencies from institutional and accredited investors in Southeast Asia.