Euro am Sonntag: Bitcoin & Co: Coveted crypto licenses | news

by Wolfgang Ehrensberger, Euro on Sunday

Commerzbank was the first major German bank to apply for a license from financial regulator Bafin to be able to store cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. A spokesperson told uro on Sunday. Deutsche Bank also confirmed similar precautions. A spokesperson for this newspaper explained that they had been working on “cryptocurrency custody” for 18 months.

According to industry experts, the banks above all want to avoid losing younger customers to fintechs that already offer this service by offering a corresponding range of services. However, the two bank spokesmen said in unison that the offers should initially target institutional clients.

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According to the Commerzbank spokesperson, the bank wants to help shape emerging “digital ecosystems” in the field of “digital assets”. This is done primarily “in relation to the safekeeping and trading of non-physical assets”. To this end, the bank entered into a cooperation with Deutsche Börse and fintech 360x in the spring of 2021. In addition, the bank is also pursuing its own digital asset strategy and also planning its own offers for customers in the coming years.

Coinbase is already licensed

According to the spokesperson, Deutsche Bank’s goal is to give international investors, especially funds, pension funds, insurance companies and others, access to crypto assets. For example, if private investors invest in funds with crypto assets, the relevant fund companies could hold those assets through Deutsche Bank, the spokesperson added. However, details of these new services will only be released “in due course”.

The American crypto exchange Coinbase already has a Bafin license for the custody and trading of digital currencies in Germany. According to information from the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, the bank Hauck Aufhuser Lampe has also received a corresponding license via the acquired fintech Kapilendo and the Munich fintech Tangany. According to the newspaper, Bafin currently has 25 crypto applications to approve.

In any case, such a license should offer clients the guarantee that their crypto deposits are kept securely according to the standards of the supervisors. In the past, there have always been incidents, some spectacular, in which crypto accounts have been emptied.

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