On Thursday, Bitcoin users discovered a webpage including information on a digital exchange soft-launched by DBS Bank, the largest commercial bank in Singapore, on its website. But shortly after the cryptocurrency industry cheered the announcement, it was abruptly taken down.
The initial announcement, which has since been taken offline, said it would allow users of the bank to trade a number of top cryptocurrencies in market capitalization, including Bitcoin. Industry experts were particularly optimistic about the launch of the DBS Digital Exchange (the link now redirects to the homepage) because it would introduce Bitcoin to a broader base of investors.
Su Zhu, CEO of Three Arrows Capital, one of the largest cryptocurrency funds based in Singapore, said it would “immediately become the easiest on-ramp” for any individual who banks in the country, if it launches.
The announcement said DBS Digital Exchange would operate with the approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the nation’s central bank and financial regulatory authority. DBS Bank, which manages $425 billion in assets, would serve as the main bank behind the exchange.
But, in a statement to CoinDesk, a DBS spokesperson reportedly said that DBS Digital Exchange is still "work in progress" and has not received "regulatory approvals" just yet.
The statement published on the DBS Corporate website from DBS Digital Exchange read:
Digital assets are poised to be the future of tomorrow’s digital economy. With DBS Digital Exchange, a bank-backed digital exchange, companies and investors can now leverage an integrated ecosystem of solutions to tap the vast potential of private markets and digital currencies.
“Don’t be short. DBS Bank is the largest company in Singapore, largest bank in Southeast Asia. Reasonable sized stacks will be accumulated.”
The move comes after the various financial institutions globally set out to adopt crypto assets.
A week ago, $231 billion payments conglomerate PayPal announced it would allow users to buy, sell, and hold bitcoin via their PayPal wallets.
The increasing speed of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption by financial institutions follows large inflows of institutional capital into the Bitcoin market.
Particularly from September to October, the rate at which new capital has flowed into Bitcoin has accelerated. On October 23rd, the BTC Times reported that the net assets under management (AUM) of Grayscale rose by $300 million in one day.