Singapore multi-family office looks to establish a digital bank in Bahrain
Whampoa Group has selected the Kingdom of Bahrain as its intended headquarters to establish a digital bank that would serve crypto companies.
A digital bank for digital asset firms
Whampoa Group’s digital bank, which is scheduled to launch by the end of 2023, aims to provide banking services to crypto firms, as well as cryptocurrency trading, custody, and asset management. The choice of Bahrain for such a venture may not be surprising, given the country’s open attitude towards crypto.
Meanwhile, the latest development could serve as a relief for crypto companies which have been finding it difficult to get banking partners in recent times. The events that plagued the industry in 2022, which included the fall of major firms like FTX, caused regulators to tighten regulatory policies and also made financial institutions distance themselves from digital asset entities.
Furthermore, the industry had to deal with another blow in March 2023, after tech banks in the United States such as Silvergate and Signature which catered to cryptocurrency firms, also collapsed.
While the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has granted Whampoa Group an “in-principle approval” for its digital bank initiative according to a government spokesperson, the multi-family office will only receive a full license after fulfilling all requirements.
Whampoa Group is not new to the digital asset industry, with the investment group in September 2022 stating plans to inject $100 million into crypto startups via a venture capital fund.