By Anshuman Daga
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore-based private securities platform ADDX said it has become the first financial firm in the city-state to recognise cryptocurrency in their assessment of assets of high-net worth clients.
The move underscores the growing acceptance of digital currencies among financial services firms as they seek to tap a wide array of investors.
ADDX, whose backers include Singapore Exchange, said in a statement on Wednesday that it would recognise only cryptocurrencies with a higher market value and would apply discount rates when valuing these assets.
"Cryptocurrencies are here to stay. They no longer exist only on the fringes of wealth and investment conversations," said ADDX CEO Oi-Yee Choo.
"With a large minority of investors owning crypto, it is reasonable for these digital assets to be recognised as a part of one's portfolio – not unlike any other assets that can be valued in the marketplace, such as real estate or equity," Choo said.
Under Singapore's regulations, individuals need to have at least S$300,000 ($217,991.57) of income from the past 12 months, S$1 million in net financial assets or S$2 million in net personal assets to qualify as accredited investors.
ADDX said it will accept crypto assets only in the category of net personal assets and will apply a 50% discount rate for bitcoin or ether when calculating the value of these holdings and a 10% discount for USDC stable coin.
Cryptocurrencies - once seen as a niche asset for risk-hungry investors - became more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. While bitcoin's value has recently fallen, the overall crypto market is still valued at $1.2 trillion.
"In time to come, we are likely to enable customers to fund their investment wallets with cryptocurrencies and to convert their assets between fiat currencies and crypto," said Choo.
($1 = 1.3762 Singapore dollars)
(Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Sam Holmes)