• A new law in the country permits banks to treat bitcoin or ethereum as stocks or bonds.
  • Though the officials have not disclosed the names of the banks, they have said that the aim is to make Germany a go-to location for cryptocurrencies.

Handelsblatt, a local German newspaper, has reported that 40 licensed banks have applied to offer crypto custody and services due to the recently passed law in the nation. The Fifth European Money Laundering directive came into effect on January 1. It updates the law to include crypto services and in the process, it permits banks to treat bitcoin or ethereum as stocks or bonds and so offer similar services.

This applies to tokens as well as the law defines cryptocurrencies very broadly as “a digital representation of value that is not issued or guaranteed by a central bank or a public authority, is not necessarily attached to a legally established currency and does not possess a legal status of currency or money, but is accepted by natural or legal persons as a means of exchange and which can be transferred, stored and traded electronically.”

Frank Schäffler, a member of the German parliament has reportedly stated:

The high demand for crypto custody licenses shows that companies are increasingly adopting blockchain technology, but is also the result of the new legislation.

As per Handelsblatt, Bafin -Germany’s financial watchdog - has “already received more than 40 expressions of interest from banks for permission to operate the crypto custody business in the future.” Though the officials have not disclosed the names of the banks, they have said that the aim is to make Germany a go-to location for cryptocurrencies. 

The report cited Solarisbank as one of the applicants. Michael Offermann, head of crypto banking at Solarisbank, said:

We have been dealing intensively with the topic of crypto custody for one and a half years. The new regulation in the new Money Laundering Act is a good time to start practically. After all, we are not a research institute, but a commercial bank.


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