One of the largest banking institutions in Germany has confirmed it applied for a local crypto license
Earlier this year, German banking giant Commerzbank confirmed it had applied for a local cryptocurrency license. It’s the first time a major bank has moved towards crypto in the past year.
German banking giant Commerzbank applies for the crypto license
A spokesperson from Commerzbank confirmed to local media outlet Börsen-Zeitung on April 14 that it applied for the crypto custody license in the first quarter of 2022. If approved, it will be allowed to offer exchange services along with crypto-asset custody and protection.
Commerzbank serves more than 18 million customers and more than 70,000 institutional customers, and the crypto offering is expected to target its institutional customer base. As of January 1, 2020, any business that wants to provide crypto services in Germany must first obtain permission from the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).
Only four companies have been approved, but BaFin says it has more than 25 pending applications from companies looking to operate crypto custody businesses. Coinbase Germany was the first to be approved by the regulator in June 2021, and Berlin-based fintech company Upvest was most recently approved for a license in March.
Commerzbank has been involved in blockchain projects since 2018 and made some of the first transactions on its distributed ledger technology (DLT) secure lending platform with other major banks the following year.
More recently, in August 2021, the company partnered to develop a blockchain-based digital marketplace for existing asset classes such as art and real estate.
Germany has introduced a series of reforms, regulations, and further adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in 2021. German investors are also interested in cryptocurrency adoption. A March report by Kucoin revealed that 44% of Germans have “motivated to invest in cryptocurrencies, and “37% of German crypto investors have been trading cryptocurrencies for over a year.”
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