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Germany’s Third-Largest Bank Launches Crypto Custody Platform

Germany’s third-largest bank by assets, DZ Bank, has launched its own blockchain-based digital assets custody platform. In making the announcement, the bank said that the platform is designed to provide a career for its institutional clientele, amid rising appetite for digital assets. Furthermore, the bank has revealed that it is working towards a future when it will offer crypto to both institutional and retail investors.

Rising institutional affinity towards crypto in Q4 2023 and 2024

DZ Bank has built a strong asset portfolio, with its €300bn ($327bn) in assets under management (AUM) a proof that it has won investor goodwill. Going forward, it aims to leverage the rising appetite for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin among institutions as regulatory clarity grows. To enable its institutional clients to invest in cryptocurrencies, the bank applied to the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) for a crypto custody license in June 2023.

Germany is among the countries with stringent crypto regulatory environments, but that has not deterred investors from seeking ways to grab a piece of the pie.  With the crypto market showing signs of an upsurge in recent weeks, we are likely to see a significant spike in demand from both institutional and retail clients. Furthermore, the impending Bitcoin ETF approval in the United States is likely to power a sustained bull run, heading into the halving event in April 2024.

In recent months, German banks have developed products that expose their clients to cryptocurrencies. Leading financial institutions including DwpBank, Commerzbank and DekaBank, have applied for crypto custody licenses with BaFin, signaling an investor appetite bubbling under the strict regulatory environment.

The crypto market has survived a combination of harsh market fundamentals such as the Covid 19 pandemic, FTX collapse, Terra scandal and high interest rates over the past year. Furthermore, the SEC case against Ripple Labs seeks to be getting eroded by the. Therefore, going forward, we are likely to witness an upsurge of institutional interest in digital assets, supported by a well-established regulatory framework across different jurisdictions.