Berlin While the cooperative banking sector in Germany has just announced prototypes for trading cryptocurrencies, a Volksbank is already creating facts. At Volksbank Kurpfalz, customers can already buy Bitcoin and other digital currencies with the help of their advisors. This is made possible by a cooperation with the Stuttgart Stock Exchange.
Volksbank offers to buy cryptocurrency
“Six months ago, we created a temporary medium-term solution until the cooperative association develops its own complete solution for cryptocurrency trading,” Christopher Kalinasch explained to Bloomberg.
According to him, an average double-digit number of customers use the bank’s crypto-trading service. Usually a few hundred or thousand euros are invested in Bitcoin and Co., but sometimes larger sums.
Other banks also want to offer cryptocurrency
The group of users could continue to grow. “We initially offered this offer to our high-end private banking customers. In the near future, we want to offer it to everyone in the branches, i.e. to all private customers,” says Kalinasch.
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Given the high risk of loss, there is currently a heated discussion in German banks about whether traditional branches should actively offer their clients cryptocurrency trading. Marija Kolak, president of German cooperative banks, said in mid-March that her sector would develop prototypes with the help of DWP Bank and DZ Bank.
The savings banks are also dealing with the issue, but President Helmut Schleweis has so far expressed reservations. A Deutsche Bank spokesperson said his company does not offer cryptocurrency trading to retail customers, but is investigating the matter.
Partner Boerse Stuttgart offers Bitcoin and Ethereum
The partner of Volksbank Kurpfalz is the Stuttgart Digital Exchange, BSDEX for short. Here, private customers can exchange Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital currencies for euros. Transactions are possible almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The bank initially offers interested customers an information meeting. It deals with fundamental questions – such as what cryptocurrencies are and where the risks lie. The employees have been specially trained for this. Even if it seems paradoxical: the bank expressly advises against investing in crypto-currencies. It refers to possible risks such as fluctuations in value, price manipulation or data theft.
Volksbank customers open accounts with BSDEX
If you still want to buy cryptocurrencies, you can open an account with the BSDEX at the bank and trade independently. The actual purchase does not take place directly via the bank, but via the third-party provider. According to division head Kalinasch, the Volksbank receives only a small, non-covering commission from the Stuttgart Stock Exchange for brokering customers. They earn nothing from trade.
“For us, this is not an area to generate income,” Kalinasch said. The bank wants to be involved in the development of this new technology at an early stage and meet existing customer demand.
After: Current account with bitcoin? Savings banks examine the offer of cryptocurrencies