The Litecoin Foundation now owns 9.9% of a German bank, WEG Bank AG, which was founded in 2015 and is described by Bloomberg as operating like an ordinary bank that provides “accounts checking, savings deposits, money market, mortgage, and term loans services, as well as card facilities and Internet banking services.”
The acquisition was through TokenPay Swiss AG, a new crypto project that launched in April this year and says:
“TokenPay acquired 9.9% of the bank along with options to purchase approximately 90% overall of the bank pending the customary regulatory approval.
Today, this 9.9% stake in WEGBank was further transacted to the benefit of Litecoin Foundation in exchange for a broad and comprehensive marketing and technology service agreement to benefit TokenPay and its related cryptocurrency and business operations.”
Under German law, any one entity can not own more than 9.9% of a bank without regulatory approval. The option to acquire the remaining 80%, therefore, seems to depend on whether Germany’s FCA gives the green light.
“The partnership with innovative institutions such as TokenPay and Litecoin might at first come unexpectedly for a very conservative institution like us,” Matthias von Hauff, founder and CEO of WEG Bank AG, says before adding:
“We have thoroughly and diligently examined the prospects of a common future, and we became convinced that the future of banking will make adoption of such modern payment methods inevitable.”
The acquisition of bank shares by a non-profit foundation is unexpected even for more edgy institutions because the news is quite surprising.
Nor is it very clear what they plan to do, but Charlie Lee, Managing Director of the Litecoin Foundation, says:
“I’m looking forward to integrating Litecoin with the WEG Bank AG and all the various services it has to offer, to make it simple for anyone to buy and use Litecoin. I’m also excited about Litecoin’s support in TokenPay’s eFin decentralized exchange.”
Whether Germany will allow a crypto foundation to control a bank which can make loans and give out mortgages as well as simple bank accounts, does remain to be seen, but it now appear somewhat clear that sooner or later, a crypto bank will probably rise.