A German bank has become the first in the country to offer crypto trading aimed at wealthy individuals and institutional investors.
VPE WertpapierhandelsBank AG (VPE), which focuses on serving family offices while providing private banking and investment banking, says they now offer automated cryptocurrency trading developed in partnership with solarisBank. The latter describes itself as:
“A technology company with a German banking license. We enable other businesses to offer fully digital and fully compliant financial services to their end-customers.”
The somewhat small German bank says they’re a securities trading bank, with Katharina Strenski, Public Relations Manager at VPE, stating:
“Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and others have become a promising asset class in recent years.
To date, trading digital tokens has been restricted to crypto exchanges and online market places. We are pleased to be the first German bank to offer our customers cryptocurrency trading services.”
Cryptos are beginning to enter their second major stage of adoption, institutional investors, as general regulatory clarity now starts being established.
Europe, in particular, has recently begun embracing blockchain technology, with almost all EU countries, including Britain, signing the European Blockchain Partnership.
However, little has been heard from Germany’s financial industry or regulators regarding cryptos, while their industry is undertaking some impressive blockchain pilots.
In contrast, France has announced an embrace of Initial Coin Offerings, the first major regulator to do so as far as we are aware.
But in Europe and across the world the infrastructure for institutional investors who might want to diversify into cryptos is fairly basic. That, however, has begun to change.
“Until now, institutional investors have faced high entry barriers to crypto trading. Our cryptocurrency trading services offer a much more convenient alternative,” Strenski said.
Europe has a difficult task in catching up with the crypto revolution. In America, they’ve gone mainstream, while in Europe they’re still at what can be describe as pre-2017 awareness levels.
That may be due to the Brexit distraction, but an easy solution could be to allow financial services passporting in a final deal, thus bringing London’s FCA back in the game and so potentially attracting international businesses.