Cryptocurrencies may eventually go hand in hand with traditional currency services. Local media reports that from 2020, it may be legal for German banks to sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and provide escrow solutions.
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Germany welcomes cryptocurrency with open arms
Currently, financial institutions operating in Germany are not allowed to sell cryptocurrencies directly to their customers. However, this situation may change in the future as the fourth EU money laundering directive is being planned. The bill has been passed in the Bundestag and is now awaiting consensus in 16 German states.
The final version of the bill is beyond the scope of money laundering and previous plans, as it proposes to allow regulated banking institutions to provide cryptocurrency services without relying on currently required third-party custodians and special subsidiaries.
The German cryptocurrency community is happy with the new version of the bill. Sven Hildebrandt, head of consulting firm Distributed Ledger Consulting (DLC), said:
" Germany is on its way to a cryptocurrency paradise. German lawmakers are playing a pioneering role in regulating cryptocurrencies. "
If the German states approve the proposal, German citizens will be able to hold Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital currencies directly in the bank. In addition, banks will provide online banking solutions for all assets including stocks, bonds and cryptocurrencies. This means that cryptocurrency holders can access their funds with the click of a button.
Interestingly, the German Banking Association (BdB) also welcomes this new regulation. It believes that lenders are experienced in storing customer assets and risk management. The new law may block cryptocurrency-related money laundering and allow German investors to enter the cryptocurrency space through domestic funds.
German consumer experts express concern
However, not everyone is satisfied with the proposed bill. The Consumer Center in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, is worried that banks will use new products for more aggressive marketing activities. Financial expert Niels Nauhauser said that German banks are now targeting new customers in various ways and they may not be able to inform customers about the potential risks of investing in cryptocurrencies.
Fabio De Masi, a German left-wing financial commentator, warned that while banks want to profit from cryptocurrencies, they must not undermine the protection of financial consumers.