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Germany’s largest banking institution, Deutsche Bank AG, has applied for a license to hold digital assets with German financial regulator BaFin in a bid to expand its revenue streams, Bloomberg reports.
It comes after a similar transition from the bank’s investment arm, DWS Group, and aims to expand custody services for digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. DWS Group has previously expressed interest in investing in two German cryptocurrency companies. Companies in talks with DWS Group included Deutsche Digital Assets, a provider of cryptocurrency exchange products, and market maker Tradias.
The banking giant’s corporate banking division first announced plans to offer digital asset-related services in 2020, but did not announce a timeline for the rollout of those services. Deutsche Bank’s head of commercial banking, David Lynn, announced on June 20 that the lender is building its “digital asset and custodial business” and has applied for a license with the country’s financial regulator, Bloomberg reported.
While Deutsche Bank has been critical of Bitcoin (BTC) and the volatility of the cryptocurrency market over the past few years, its attitude towards the industry has changed in 2023. In February this year, Deutsche Bank Singapore partnered with Memento Blockchain to successfully complete trials. for a tokenized investment platform called DAMA (Digital Assets Management Access).
The Digital Asset Fund was created with its own personal token and launched a direct transition from fiat to digital for users.
Related: Nearly half of Germans invest in crypto: report
In addition, German securities processor Deutsche WertpapierService Bank (Dwpbank) has also created a Bitcoin-centric wpNex platform for retail clients. The new platform offers cryptocurrency accounts along with other bank customer accounts without requiring them to complete any additional Know Your Customer processes.
German banking institutions have kept a safe distance from the cryptocurrency industry, citing its volatile nature and unpredictability, however this stance is likely to change in 2023 as large bakery institutions continue to explore the potential of adding digital asset-focused services to customers.