German VPE Bank Launches Crypto Trading Service
The product is available for institutional investors in Germany
German securities trading bank VPE WertpapierhandelsBank AG (VPE) announced on Wednesday it has introduced a regulated cryptocurrency trading service for institutional and professional investors in Germany.
Whereas the high entry barriers on digital exchanges typically hinder institutional investors, VPE’s new service intends to offer a more convenient alternative, public relations manager Katharina Strenski claimed. She added that VPE is the first bank to introduce a cryptocurrency trading platform in Germany.
Private customers could also get access to the service on condition that they send an application to be classified as professional clients.
The crypto trading service has been developed in co-operation with Berlin-based fintech firm solarisBank and is licensed by the German financial watchdog Bundesanstalt fuer Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin).
It is unclear which cryptocurrencies will be available for trading.
VPE assures in its statement that the service has met all Know Your Customer (KYC) and Ant-Money Laundering (AML) requirements.
SolarisBank will hold in escrow VPE’s cryptocurrency trading account. In addition, the customers will get access to a VPE-hosted individual virtual currency wallet.
Crypto trading in the banking sector
While banks have traditionally been resistant to cryptocurrencies, some have already opened up for trading in digital coins. At the end of February, Liechtenstein-based Bank Frick introduced a platform for direct investments in five major digital currencies - Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP) and Ether (ETH).
Trading with digital currencies is also allowed at several Swiss banks. Zurich-based Falcon, Gland-headquartered Swissquote and Geneva-based IG Bank have been offering virtual coins trading since 2017.
At the same time, Copenhagen-based Danske Bank expressed concerns about cryptocurrencies last month and recommended its clients to refrain from the crypto market due to its volatility, lack of transparency and institutional protection.
Earlier in April, India’s central bank went as far as to forbid financial institutions to buy and sell digital currencies.