- Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) is considering launching a cryptocurrency exchange.
- Singapore’s OCBC bank’s CEO, Helen Wong believes it is worthwhile to study cryptocurrency technology because of its potential to improve efficiency.
Singapore’s OCBC bank’s CEO, Helen Wong, said that “We are looking at it, and seriously there is some work being done in the bank,”. She also added that the bank wants to address consumer needs “in a safe manner,” to help customers recognize the investment and how to handle it.
Even though the bank would not rush into the sector simply because of its popularity, Wong believes it is worthwhile to study cryptocurrency technology because of its potential to improve efficiency. Wong went on to discuss other concerns about digital assets, such as transaction security, which is a concern given the industry’s anonymity. She explained that because cryptocurrencies are not legal tender, she prefers to refer to them as “crypto-assets.”
Wong elaborated by adding “It is not conservatism. It is about responsibility. Banks have a responsibility, fiduciary duty to people”. The manager clarified that OCBC is not entering the crypto sector simply because it is popular or because consumers want it. While financial regulators around the world debate how to handle crypto assets, Singapore is attempting to establish itself as the world’s leading center for cryptocurrency-related business.
In May of this year, DBS Private Bank, Singapore’s largest bank, launched a crypto trust solution in response to the rising demand for digital assets. Bank’s trust subsidiary is already providing support for investing, storing, and managing digital assets for cryptocurrencies to its clients. The two most popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ether, will be supported and included in clients’ wealth succession plans.
The digital asset industry in Singapore is becoming increasingly competitive. Crypto-native companies, such as major exchanges Coinbase and Binance, already operate in Singapore under temporary license exemptions. Gemini, a crypto exchange based in New York, recently expanded to Singapore. Traditional banks are establishing such services as Bitcoin and other crypto coins to become more mainstream. Singapore’s crypto-friendly regulations are paving the way, thanks to the country’s efforts to become a global crypto hub, attracting a slew of new companies.