In a significant move, Germany’s primary federal bank, the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, plans to introduce cryptocurrency custody solutions in the latter half of 2024.

Meeting the Demand

The bank aims to cater to institutional clients by teaming up with Bitpanda, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Austria. The decision comes as a response to the growing demand for digital asset custody among corporate clients, as highlighted by Jürgen Harengel, the managing director of corporate banking at Landesbank Baden-Württemberg.

Partnership with Bitpanda

For its crypto custody offering, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg will utilize Bitpanda’s institutional custody solution. Bitpanda Custody, the platform selected by the bank, boasts decentralized finance capabilities and is registered with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Enhancing Digital Asset Offerings

Through this collaboration, the bank gains access to Bitpanda’s digital asset platform, custody services, and relevant licenses. Gonzalo Lamas, head of global communication at Bitpanda, emphasizes that the partnership aims to bolster Landesbank Baden-Württemberg’s digital asset offerings, ensuring top-notch security and innovative solutions for corporate clients.

Growing Interest in Crypto Services

Landesbank Baden-Württemberg is not alone in its endeavor to embrace crypto services. Deutsche Bank has been actively exploring digital asset custody services since September 2023, partnering with Swiss crypto startup Taurus for custody and tokenization services.

Similarly, DZ Bank, Germany’s second-largest bank, announced plans to launch a crypto trading pilot later in 2024. The bank had introduced its digital asset custody platform in November 2023.

Preparing for Regulatory Changes

Banks in Germany are gearing up for the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation, expected to come into full effect in December 2024. This regulation marks the first comprehensive legal framework for the crypto industry in Europe’s largest economy.

Finalizing MiCA

While the MiCA bill is still undergoing finalization, the second consultation package for reverse solicitation guidelines under MiCA is scheduled to conclude on April 29. The outcomes of this consultation are anticipated to shape the final implementation of MiCA in December.