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Can this crypto exchange crack Asia’s US$2.5tn wealth market?

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Cryptocurrency exchange Bybit has launched a wealth management business, marking the latest effort by a digital currency platform to push into the private wealth space.

The Dubai-based exchange, which offers trading in coins including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, will initially offer wealth clients access to a fund pool of diversified assets managed by industry experts, before branching out into structured products.

The platform aims to provide investors with “personalised solutions” according to clients’ individual goals and risk tolerance, and “attractive returns while minimising risk”.

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“With tailored options, stable returns, and low-risk strategies, our wealth management product offers seamless access to the exponential opportunities in the crypto market,” Ben Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Bybit, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company did not provide details on how it would be distributing its products to wealth clients in Asia, but said that it was open to “potential collaborations” and would invite “institutions and industry players to explore strategic partnerships and collectively contribute to developing the crypto investment landscape”.

Bybit is by no means the first crypto player to explore opportunities in the wealth space – which in Asia-Pacific is valued at close to US$2.5 trillion, according to APB Insights – with others including Metalpha and Matrixport.

However, private banks themselves are divided on the potential of crypto assets to provide stable returns for their clients. Julius Baer announced that it would provide crypto services in Dubai, while DBS has launched a bank-backed crypto trust service. However, the likes of Pictet are cooler on this asset class.

Still, interest among private clients appears to be rising. Single family offices are among those making inroads in terms of investments, with prime brokerage FalconX recently estimating that about 20% of HNWIs have some form of exposure to crypto.

Established in 2018, Bybit is one of the top five most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, according to CoinGecko, a Singapore-based data platform for digital currencies.

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