Commerzbank Applying For A Crypto License Changes The Game In Germany

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Financial institutions continue to express an interest in cryptocurrencies. German’s Commerzbank is the latest bank to apply for a local crypto license. That move would allow Commerzbank to begin offering crypto-related services and products to its clients.

Commerzbank Takes the Plunge

It is interesting to see how banks have done a complete 180 on cryptocurrencies in recent years. After shunning bitcoin and similar assets for nearly a decade, they are now pushing hard to provide access to cryptocurrency in some way. For example, Commerzbank acknowledges the industry’s potential and how it can benefit its customer base across Germany. The institution has also applied for a local crypto license to kickstart that initiative.

The move by Commerzbank is significant for many reasons. First, it shows Germany remains open-minded toward cryptocurrencies. The same can’t be said about most other countries, where policymakers maintain a narrow-minded focus. Second, it is the first major financial institution to venture into the crypto world. It will not be the last one, assuming this venture by Commerzbank receives a positive response. 

ARK36 Executive Director Mikkel Morch comments:

“Reports of banks applying for a crypto license have cropped up recently in jurisdictions with progressive regulatory regimes that allow for it. Last week, such an application was submitted by a bank in Portugal. Now, one of the largest banks in Germany wants to offer crypto custody and exchange services. Where traditional and large banks until very recently have seen cryptos as competition and shied away from it, we now start to see adoption even from some of the most conservative players in the banking field.”

It marks an intriguing development for the broader finance industry. Cryptocurrency and traditional banking are not that far apart, yet it will require collaborative efforts to take things to the next level. Banks have opposed this idea for the longest time, but they are now coming around to bitcoin and other assets. Commerzbank may gain a first-mover advantage in Germany and establish itself as a stronghold by focusing on banking and crypto assets. 

Will Other German Banks Follow?

While the move by Commerzbank sends a strong signal to Germany’s banking industry, there are still many unknown factors. Just because Commerzbank applies for a license does not mean the bank will receive it. Moreover, the institution has yet to clarify how the license will affect its products and services. Obtaining a license is one aspect, but putting it to good use is a different matter. 

Mikkel Morch weighs in on the bank’s potential plans:

“These moves can be interpreted as the beginnings of a race within the traditional banking field to gain a competitive edge by being the first entity in its local market to offer crypto services. From both a technological and a marketing perspective, crypto has already become the next big thing, so to speak.”

One can hope this move will trigger a snowball effect across the global finance industry. Banks can benefit greatly from incorporating cryptocurrency in some way or shape. Finding the crucial products and services people are looking for will remain challenging. 

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