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Nansen Deems DBS as Ether Whale with $650 Millon ETH

May 30, 2024

Institutions have been ushering into the crypto arena lately. On one side, the recently stepped-in Trad-Fi ETF players have been making their case. On the other, the payment giants like PayPal and Mastercard have been making noise. Now, the market is host to yet another prominent name from the banking space.

Singapore’s largest bank, DBS, is supposedly holding Ether on-chain. Not only that, it has also been deemed to be a whale by analytics platform Nansen.

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Revealing its finding via a recent post on X [formerly Twitter], the Nansen team said,

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

The 173.7k ETH was worth around $650 million at press time. blocmates reached out to DBS for a confirmation regarding the holdings and the profits, but had not received a reply until the time of publication.

Source: Nansen

Meanwhile, community members started suspecting that the assets in possessions could be customer funds. Angel investor Kirby Ong, for instance, pointed out,

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

Back in September 2022, DBS had expanded access to its crypto trading service on its members-only digital exchange, DDEx. At that time, the bank revealed that its wealth clients were increasingly choosing self-directed investment routes, instigating the expansion.

That move opened the door for around 100,000 accredited investors and clients of DBS Bank. The crypto trading service - that included assets like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and XRP - could be accessed by them with a minimum investment of $500. Prior to this, the service was only limited to corporate and institutional investors, family offices, and clients of DBS Private Bank and DBS Treasures.

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