Amid Singapore’s ongoing effort to establish itself as a key player in the global crypto economy by laying out a clear regulatory framework, one of the country’s leading banking institutions, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. (OCBC) is considering the incorporation of crypto services by setting up a crypto exchange. The Chief Executive Officer at OCBC, Helen Wong told Bloomberg in an exclusive interview that the bank is researching the subject of starting a crypto exchange.
However, she noted that OCBC’s intent to explore the decentralized industry is not driven by its popularity, or because it is in demand from people. Wong clarified that the bank is neither being conservative nor is it following trends blindly. Rather OCBC is focused on its responsibility, and fiduciary duty to people as a financial institution, henceforth, being thorough before diving into an unregulated industry is the least they can do to ensure consumer protection.
“We are looking at it and seriously there are some work being done in the bank…If you say we are looking at it, it is very much in addressing customer needs, but in a safe manner…We want to help them to recognize the investment and how to handle it.”, said Wong.
OCBC’s CEO addressed issues regarding unregulated digital assets, one of which was the high-risk transactions given the industry’s decentralized and opaque anonymity approach. Wong noted that she prefers to address it as “crypto-assets” instead of cryptocurrencies since they have not achieved legal tender as of now.
Singapore authorities aim to provide tools to manage high-risk crypto
The nation’s authorities are undergoing the process of becoming a leader in the crypto industry across the world. Earlier this month, Singapore’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) clarified that instead of adopting a China-like absolute ban approach, they will provide the investors with the tools to manage risk and offer citizens a head start into web3. MAS has begun laying out a clear regulatory framework and requirement for players to handle risks in the volatile crypto space. Mr. Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said: “We think the best approach is not to clamp down or ban these things”.