In the USA, the last few months have seen new crypto entries from all the major banks, who, prompted by their customers’ demands to offer services and investments related to cryptocurrencies in a regulated and secure manner, have begun to broaden their focus and have set a series of rules to allow their customers access to buying and selling cryptocurrencies.

In Europe, the situation is as fertile as ever with countries such as Spain and Portugal trying to pull the strings and where Germany was just a few days ago named the most hospitable country in the world for the crypto sector, with one of the historically legal banks in the area taking its first steps in introducing services related to digital assets.

We’re talking about Commerzbank, which has announced its application for a licence from the country’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) for a cryptocurrency custody business.

Commerzbank has applied to its German counterpart authority CONSOB for a crypto licence, i.e. permission for banks (and any financial institution) to also operate as an exchange and thus directly offer the buying and selling of crypto-assets.

Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft is Germany’s fourth-largest bank, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, founded in 1870 in Hamburg, and provides services to nearly 28,000 corporate client groups and almost 11 million private and business customers in Germany.

By requesting a licence to become a crypto custodian, it has joined a long list of institutions seeking to obtain one.

According to the financial regulator, it has already received 25 applications for the licence so far and has already approved four.

In January 2021, Coinbase became the first company to earn a cryptocurrency custody licence in Germany.
Commerzbank is the first bank to submit an application.

To understand how far Germany has come in terms of adopting digital currencies, last July, steps were taken to consider Bitcoin as an investment not only for a “sophisticated” and risk-prone clientele, as a law was passed allowing German institutional funds to hold up to 20% of their assets in crypto.

In Europe, there are some who are really open to the future and others who are lagging sadly behind.