Southeast Asia’s Second Largest Lender, OCBC, is Looking into Bitcoin


China has been hostile towards Bitcoin adoption. Just this year, they put uncountable sanctions on any Bitcoin-related activity in the country. However, despite their efforts to curtail BTC, it keeps soaring to new highs. In breaking news, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. (OCBC) is considering venturing into Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

OCBC is the second-largest money lending company in Southeast Asia. The fact that it wants to get a piece of the DeFi and Bitcoin pie is a huge blow to China. China has been known for its strict dictatorial regime, and OCBC is brave enough to defy the government and pursue Bitcoin.

Interview with OCBC CEO, Helen Wong

OCBC ready for Chinese digital banking competitors in Singapore | Opus  Kinetic
Source: Opus Kinetic

Speaking with Bloomberg, Wong said the company was considering offering crypto services. “We are looking at it and seriously, there are some work being done in the bank,” Wong noted that blockchain technology is good for boosting business efficiency. She, however, maintained that OCBC would take its time to study the crypto sector. OCBC bank is based in Singapore, which is just 2383 miles from mainland China. 

For perspective, the distance from California to Alabama is 2,165.8 miles, a 32-hour drive. The Southeast of Asia is hot with tension after China tried to take over Thailand. This shows China exerts some control over Southeast Asia.

It’s All About Competition

DBS Group Holdings Ltd is another financial institution in Singapore. The company has already announced plans to expand its crypto exchange to reach retail investors. Big banks across the world, such as Goldman Sachs, are already offering crypto services.

Wong also noted the various concerns that surround cryptocurrencies. Notably, the issue of anonymity in transactions raises concerns of safety and security. She prefers to address crypto as assets and not currencies. She argues that crypto is not real tender. Perhaps Ms. Wong does not know about El Salvador.

On September 7, the El Salvador parliament voted in favor of making Bitcoin legal tender in the nation. Since then, BTC has been used to buy items from merchants. Most recently, Bitrefill payment processing company enabled 150 different payments using BTC. El Salvador residents will be able to pay bills using Bitcoin

In more recent news, Sotheby’s, the world’s oldest and most trusted marketplace for art and luxury, now accepts bids in Ethereum. More and more use cases for crypto-as-money uses keep rising by the day.

The Future of Bitcoin

Bitcoin will only continue to go up because of several factors, which include scarcity and rapid adoption.

BTC is now the rarest asset class in the world. It is more valuable to hold BTC than to hold Gold. Investors speculate that it is only a matter of time before BTC’s market cap surpasses Gold’s. For example, Tesla, MicroStrategy, Square Inc, and George Soros are just the high profile companies and figures who have dipped their feet into BTC and hold some. PayPal has also enabled BTC checkout with millions of merchants. This means more utility for BTC. Banks will not want to be left behind on this, and hence OCBC’s bold move to venture into this paradigm shifting revolution.