Commerzbank, one of the banks that took the first steps in implementing services related to digital assets in Germany, has announced its application for a license from the country’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) to hold cryptocurrencies.
From January 1, 2020 this license is mandatory for doing business with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The decision to provide regulated financial services without a proper license carries the risk of criminal penalties of up to five years in prison. Commerzbank, which provides services to almost 28,000 corporate customer groups and about 11 million private and corporate customers, intends to offer its planned cryptocurrency storage services primarily to institutional customers in Germany.
According to the financial regulator, the agency has so far received 25 license applications, of which four have been approved.