As the first "traditional" major bank in Germany, Commerzbank has now applied for a license to store cryptocurrencies from BaFin.
BaFin grants such licenses to financial institutions that want to store cryptocurrencies in their portfolios for customers and trade in cryptocurrencies. Since January 1, 2020, such a license has been mandatory for institutes in Germany.
Sensitive legal measures can follow in the event of violations, with imprisonment of up to 5 years for the managing persons. Generous transitional periods apply to companies that were already trading and storing cryptocurrencies before the regulations came into force.
Commerzbank crypto license was applied for in Q2 2022
Specifically, Commerzbank applied for this license from BaFin at the beginning of the second quarter of 2022, making it the first bank in Germany to apply for such a license.
According to BaFin, there are currently 25 applications and four licenses have already been issued. The crypto exchange Coinbase received the first German crypto custody license from BaFin in June 2021.
Read also: BaFin Ignored Commerzbank's Warning Over Wirecard Fraud
Commerzbank would like to offer this service to its institutional customers for the time being, according to Commerzbank's official statements.
But a number of Commerzbank's 11 million corporate and private customers will also have a strong interest in the safekeeping and trading of cryptocurrencies using Commerzbank's services. Therefore, the service will certainly be expanded quickly.
We have been awarded @FStechnology's Blockchain Project of the Year for our #MarcoPolo Payment Commitment. We are excited about its potential to bring more speed, convenience and transparency into #trade processes.— Commerzbank (@commerzbank) April 20, 2022
At the international level, too, banks and major banks are very cautious when it comes to crypto. Only the US banking giant Goldman Sachs and the Swiss Credit Suisse have published concrete plans to introduce special cryptocurrency services for their customers.
Many officials in the global banking industry say that cryptocurrencies are gaining interest and importance globally and that the world of finance and banking has to deal with them.
However, hardly any bank puts it into practice. All business is left to the crypto exchanges and wallet operators.
Summary of Commerzbank's plans
Most decision-makers at the top of the global banking industry believe that cryptocurrencies pose no threat to the importance and supremacy of fiat money and the international banking system.
However, many crypto experts believe that the cryptocurrency market and blockchain technology will make a number of banking services irrelevant and meaningless.
I think there is something to both opinions. All fiat currencies will not be completely replaced by cryptocurrencies, nor will traditional banks be able to continue to operate the entire business as usual.
Banks that do one thing without neglecting the other are well-advised. Commerzbank's strategy of also dealing with cryptocurrencies and offering customers services for custody and trading with cryptocurrencies is the only right one.
Perhaps the ailing Commerzbank will take a decisive step to set itself apart from the larger banks. It is often not the big that eat the small, but the fast that eat the slow. It would be nice if Commerzbank could be one of the fast ones.
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