One of the largest banking institutions in Germany has confirmed that it applied for a local crypto license earlier this year, marking the first time a major bank in the country has switched to cryptocurrencies.
A spokesman for Commerzbank confirmed to the Börsen-Zeitung on April 14 that it “applied for the crypto custody license in the first quarter of 2022.” If approved, it would be eligible to offer exchange services along with custody and protection of crypto assets.
Commerzbank serves over 18 million customers and over 70,000 institutional customers, and the cryptocurrency offering will reportedly target its institutional customer base.
As of January 1, 2020, any company wishing to offer cryptocurrency services in Germany must first obtain approval from the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, also known as BaFin.
Only four companies are currently licensed, but BaFin says over 25 applications are pending from companies looking to engage in crypto custody businesses.
Coinbase Germany was the first company to be approved by the regulator in June 2021, and Berlin-based financial technology company Upvest was last approved for a license in March.
Related: ‘Let’s build a Europe where Web3 can thrive’: Crypto companies sign open letter to EU regulators
Commerzbank was involved in blockchain projects as early as 2018, and the following year conducted some of the first transactions on a distributed ledger technology (DLT) collateral lending platform with other major banks.
Most recently, in August 2021, the company partnered to develop blockchain-based digital marketplaces for existing asset classes such as art and real estate.
Germany introduced a series of reforms, regulations and further adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in 2021.
German investors are also very interested in adopting crypto. A March report by Kucoin found that 44% of Germans are “motivated to invest in cryptocurrencies and 37% of German crypto investors have been trading cryptocurrencies for over a year.”
https://cointelegraph.com/news/german-banking-giant-commerzbank-applies-for-crypto-license German banking giant Commerzbank is applying for a crypto license