HomeEthereumSingapore's Largest Bank Emerges as a Major Ethereum Holder

Singapore’s Largest Bank Emerges as a Major Ethereum Holder


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In a significant development for the crypto community, Singapore’s largest bank, DBS, has emerged as a major Ethereum (ETH) holder.

On Thursday, on-chain analysis firm Nansen revealed that addresses linked to DBS Bank boast an impressive stash of 173,753 Ethereum, boasting a staggering valuation of approximately $655 million, factoring in Ethereum’s market value of $3,782 per unit at press time.

“We’ve identified this $650m ETH Whale holding 173.7k ETH as DBS, the largest bank in Singapore with assets totaling $739 billion as of 31 Dec’23 This address has made over $200m by holding ETH.” Tweeted Nansen.

However, commenting on this development, a n X user named “kirbyong.sismo.eth” argued that ETH holdings might primarily represent client funds rather than direct investments by the bank itself.

“DBS has a digital exchange for accredited investors which has been live for a while, it’s likely ETH held on behalf of these investors and not bank investments,” he wrote.

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Notably, this revelation comes as no surprise, given DBS’s long-standing involvement in the cryptocurrency space. The bank has been a proponent of digital assets and has offered various services, including digital asset custody, security token exchange, and portfolio management apps covering traditional and cryptocurrency assets.

In 2021, the bank launched an institutional investor-focused crypto trading platform, DDEx, in Singapore. The Monetary Authority of Singapore also gave the bank “in-principle” approval to provide cryptocurrency services. Reportedly, in 2022, the bank also planned to launch a crypto exchange before shelving the plans following the collapse of FTX.

In July 2023, DBS also added support for the digital yuan, a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) launched by the People’s Bank of China. Notably, the bank’s digital yuan payment solution allows mainland Chinese businesses to accept payments in CBDC, automatically settling the payment into bank deposit accounts.

That said, DBS’s significant holdings of Ethereum also coincide with growing interest from institutional investors, including retail investors, high-net-worth traders, and hedge funds, especially after the approval of several spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States earlier this year. 

Meanwhile, Singapore has cooperated with global financial authorities in the digital currency field. In September 2023, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, in collaboration with the Bank for International Settlements and the central banks of France and Switzerland, completed cross-border trading and settlement testing of wholesale central bank digital currencies.

That said, the emergence of DBS as a major Ethereum holder underscores the increasing involvement of traditional financial institutions in the digital asset market. As the crypto community eagerly awaits the approval of a spot Ethereum ETF in the U.S., it will be interesting to see how other financial institutions will respond to this rapidly growing space.

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