Many are wondering what could trigger a possible next nationwide hype around crypto currencies like Bitcoin. Most of them think directly of the end of 2017, when the price of BTC and many other coins shot through the ceiling. Not only the halving in May this year is considered a hot candidate for a long-term upward trend. Also the expansion of the infrastructure in the crypto sector, which has increased strongly since 2017, could continue to spur the prices as interest increases. This also includes the legislation in force in Germany since January 1, 2020, which allows banks to store crypto currencies and offer corresponding services. New figures show that many banks are very interested in securing corresponding licenses. Are banks worried about the next bull run with their crypto services?
Bitcoin trading allowed since 2020
The Fifth European Money Laundering Directive has been in force since 1 January. This includes not only regulations on classic financial classes, such as shares or bonds, but also on cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. In short, banks are legally allowed to treat Bitcoin and Co. like shares and bonds.
A bank could go there and offer its customers coins at the push of a button via online banking. But not only that: in principle a whole range of services from buying, selling and custody are possible.
However, this does not only apply to BTC, but to all kinds of tokens, as the law defines them as follows according to the Handelsblatt Cryptos:
“Digital representations of an asset that has not been issued or guaranteed by any central bank or public entity and does not have the legal status of a currency or money.”
The 40 banks are not mentioned by name in the reports. Only one example is given: the Berlin Solarisbank. This bank has founded the subsidiary “Solaris Digital Assets” especially for the crypto business.
Germany the new Crypto Valley?
Of course, the new legal situation does not or not exclusively aim to push Bitcoin and Co. Rather, it is intended to ensure that trade is conducted through banks that comply with the usual money laundering laws. This is intended to prevent crypto-currencies from being used for criminal purposes.
As Frank Schäffler has already mentioned in the above quote, this gives Germany a locational advantage and could become the new “Crypto Valley” in Europe. Brexite and the resulting weakening of the financial centre in London could also help Germany, especially the Frankfurt location. So says Berlin:
“This gives us almost a unique selling proposition that will help us bring the reputable providers to Germany.”