April 19, 2024
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Germany’s Leading Federal Bank Ventures into Crypto Custody Services

Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW), Germany’s largest federal bank, is set to begin offering cryptocurrency custody solutions in the second half of 2024.

This marks a significant move by the bank into the world of digital assets.

Partnership with Bitpanda

LBBW will provide crypto custody services to institutional clients through a partnership with the Austria-based Bitpanda cryptocurrency exchange.

The collaboration will allow LBBW to leverage Bitpanda’s institutional custody solution, which is a crypto custody platform with DeFi capabilities registered with the United Kingdom’s FCA.

According to Jürgen Harengel, managing director of corporate banking at LBBW, there has been an increase in demand for digital asset custody from corporate customers. He told Bloomberg, “The demand from our corporate customers for digital assets is increasing.”

Utilizing Bitpanda’s Infrastructure

The partnership will enable LBBW to tap into Bitpanda’s digital asset platform, custody services, and relevant licenses.

Gonzalo Lamas, head of global communication at Bitpanda, stated that as part of the cooperation, LBBW will use Bitpanda’s “Investment-as-a-Service” infrastructure and services to source and provide custody services for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital assets.

Other German Banks Following Suit

LBBW is not the only German bank exploring crypto services. Deutsche Bank has been working on digital asset custody services since September 2023, partnering with Swiss crypto startup Taurus for crypto custody and tokenization services.

DZ Bank, Germany’s second-largest bank, announced plans to launch a crypto trading pilot later in 2024.

The banks in Europe’s largest economy are preparing for the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation that will take full effect in December 2024.

The regulation will serve as the first comprehensive legal framework for the crypto industry, turning crypto exchanges into fully regulated entities from the end of 2024.

Vyara Savova, senior policy lead at the European Crypto Initiative, said: “2024 is the year of MiCA, and the whole EU will now have a comprehensive legal framework for crypto-assets, crypto-asset services, and crypto-asset service providers (also known as CASPs).”

MiCA’s Final Implementation

The MiCA bill is still being finalized, with the second consultation package for reverse solicitation guidelines set to end on April 29.

The outcome of the consultation will play a key role in MiCA’s final implementation in December. Savova noted, “[The consultation will determine] how exchanges and other CASPs from countries outside of the EU might provide services to EU citizens without a license and how these services should be marketed in Europe.”

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