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Singapore’s DBS bank plans to apply for crypto license in HK: report

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Singapore’s DBS Group plans to apply for a license to offer crypto to Hong Kong customers as the Chinese special administrative zone pushes to become a hub for digital assets and reforms its crypto regulation, according to a report from Bloomberg. 

See related article: Huobi to expand in Hong Kong as it bets on China

Fast facts

  • “We are planning to apply for a license in Hong Kong so that the bank could sell digital assets to our Hong Kong customers,” Sebastian Paredes, chief executive of DBS Bank Hong Kong, said in a Monday briefing.
  • Over the past several months, Hong Kong has made an aggressive push to regain its status as a global crypto hub, after losing a significant portion of its crypto business in 2021 due to China’s ban and tighter regulations on retail investors within the city. 
  • According to Paredes, DBS remains sensitive to the risks associated with digital assets but welcomes Hong Kong’s recent policy shift. Once Hong Kong’s new crypto regulations become clear, the bank will be a player interested in participating, he added.
  • Last month, Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan reiterated that the Chinese special administrative region remains committed to its pro-crypto policy shift, attracting interest from a number of crypto-related firms. 
  • Hong Kong’s government is considering allowing increased access to retail investors to trade in cryptocurrencies and crypto exchange-traded funds. 
  • DBS has a digital exchange in Singapore where it expanded access to its crypto trading service last year. The city state in April 2022 tightened regulation on the industry in light of crypto winter and the high profile collapse of local crypto firms like Three Arrows Capital and Hodlnaut.

See related article: Hong Kong to mandate stablecoin licensing as early as this year

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