Deutsche Bank Embraces Cryptocurrency Wave: Seeks License for Digital Asset Services

Germany's Banking Giant Expands Revenue Streams by Venturing into Digital Assets and Cryptocurrencies

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Germany’s largest banking institution, Deutsche Bank, has reportedly – according to Bloomberg – applied to the country’s financial regulator, BaFin, for a licence to allow it to hold digital assets and cryptocurrencies in a bid to expand its revenue streams.

This development comes after a similar move by the bank’s investment arm, DWS Group, and aims to expand into custody services for digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.

DWS Group had previously expressed interest in investing in two German cryptocurrency companies.

The companies traded with DWS Group are Deutsche Digital Assets, a provider of cryptocurrency trading products and market maker, Tradias.

The banking giant’s corporate banking division, Deutsche Bank, first revealed plans to offer digital asset-related services in 2020, but had not announced a timeline for introducing the services.

On June 20, Deutsche Bank’s head of commercial banking, David Lynne, announced that a division for “digital assets and custody” would be created and that an application has been submitted to the country’s financial regulator to obtain a licence, according to Bloomberg.

While Deutsche Bank has been critical of Bitcoin and the volatility of the cryptocurrency market in recent years, its tone towards the industry changed in 2023.

In February, Deutsche Bank Singapore, in partnership with Memento Blockchain, successfully completed trials for an investment platform called Project DAMA (Digital Assets Management Access).

Separately, German securities processing company, Deutsche WertpapierService Bank, also created a Bitcoin-focused platform for retail clients.

The new platform offers crypto accounts alongside other bank customer accounts without requiring them to do additional Know Your Customer processes.

Germany’s banking institutions had maintained a distance from the cryptocurrency industry, citing its unstable and unpredictable nature.

However, this stance looks set to change in 2023 as large institutions continue to explore the possibilities of adding digital asset-focused services for customers.

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