Singapore’s Multinational Bank DBS Denies Holding $650 Million in ETH, Following Nansen Post

  • Blockchain analytics platform Nansen said it identified 173.7k ETH held in a wallet associated with major Asian bank and financial services provider DBS. 
  • However, it soon became clear the wallet was more likely a custody solution operated by DBS in relation to its bank-backed digital exchange to enable corporate and high net worth investors to access crypto.

The crypto hype machine experienced another glitch this week as on-chain data analytics platform Nansen erroneously raised hopes that Singapore’s largest bank was a secret Ethereum whale.

Nansen shared a post to its social media accounts on May 30 saying they’d identified that Asian multinational bank and financial services company DBS was the owner of a wallet address with 173.7k ETH—worth over US$650 million (AU$980m). “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,” the post said.

Related: Experts Say Spot Ethereum ETF Approval Will Lead to Widespread Crypto Adoption

Tweet Turns Out To Be Misleading Hopium

Institutional investment in the crypto sphere often sparks excitement. Indeed, on the back of Nansen’s post, several users were waiting for ETH to surge, or talking about buying some DBS stonks.


However, Nansen’s post failed to reveal perhaps the most important detail about the ETH—whether it’s held by DBS or on behalf of DBS customers. A number of users pointed out it was more likely they were customer funds.

DBS was quick to deny a massive ETH stash was on its records.

In relation to the post, DBS does not have this position on our books.

DBS Bank spokesperson

Speaking to Decrypt, Nansen analyst Edward Wilson clarified, ”We have it under good authority, via several independent sources, that DBS owns the private key of this wallet and these assets are most likely a part of their custody solution.” 

The bank has yet to confirm or deny the wallet is part of its custody solution, through the bank’s digital exchange Digibank app, which allows ‘accredited investors’ to trade six tokens—including ETH—and manage them alongside other TradFi investments via a wealth management account. Institutional-grade security offered through the app includes digital assets being held by the bank.

Source: DBS Digibank

DBS has been progressive when it comes to offering crypto services, launching its digital exchange for corporate investors in 2020 before enabling ‘wealth clients’ to self-direct bank-backed crypto trades via digibank in 2022. In 2022, it reported an 80% increase in the volume of bitcoin traded on its DBS Digital Exchange, and then “Capitalizing on this momentum, the bank expanded its services to include digital asset custody, which resulted in a doubling of the number of bitcoins under custody.”

Get the most important crypto news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to the CNA newsletter

Jody McDonald

Jody McDonald

Jody is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who specialises in writing about business, technology, and the future of work.

You may also like