- Commerzbank disclosed that it has sought a local cryptocurrency license.
- The cryptocurrency service would apparently target Commerzbank’s institutional customer base.
One of Germany’s top banks disclosed that it sought a local cryptocurrency license earlier this year. It makes it the country’s first major bank to do so.
On April 14, a representative for Commerzbank told Börsen-Zeitung that the bank had “applied for a license to handle cryptocurrency in the first quarter of 2022.” If permitted, it will be able to provide exchange services as well as crypto asset storage and protection.
The cryptocurrency service would apparently target Commerzbank’s institutional customer base. Commerzbank’s institutional customer base has over 18 million customers and over 70,000 institutional customers.
Any company intending to provide cryptocurrency services in Germany must first obtain approval from the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, generally known as BaFin, as of January 1, 2020.
Only four companies have received approval so far, but BaFin says it is reviewing more than 25 applications from companies interested in operating a bitcoin custody service.
In June 2021, Coinbase Germany became the first company to get regulatory permission, while Upvest, a Berlin-based fintech firm, received its license in March.
Commerzbank began working on blockchain initiatives in 2018, and the following year it completed some of the first transactions on a distributed ledger technology (DLT) safe lending network with other big banks.
In August 2021, the company announced a collaboration to create blockchain-based digital marketplaces for existing asset classes including art and real estate. Germany implemented a range of reforms, and laws, and expanded the use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in 2021.