In 2024, Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank plans to introduce cryptocurrency trading services, following a number of other European banks that have entered the digital asset custody market.
The 130-year-old bank signed a letter of intent to work together on the offering with cryptocurrency trading platform Bitpanda, and in April, it revealed its plans for the service. The bank declared at the time that it would be the first conventional credit union in the European Union (EU) to offer cryptocurrency as part of its digital investment portfolio.
Unlike other banks that are interested in cryptocurrencies, this one will initially only be available to retail customers in Vienna. Other banks will prioritize serving institutional clients first. About 25% of Austrians reside in Vienna, where we are beginning our journey, according to Curt Chadha, head of the bank’s innovation, during a CoinDesk interview. He continued, saying:
“The customer can use their mobile device to enter Bitpanda through the Raiffeisen app. The experience will be familiar, so confirming a trade will work exactly like an account-to-account bank transfer with the same sort of security customers are used to.”
On their website, Raiffeisen Bank claims to have 16.7 million customers in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe, all of whom are backed by about 45,000 employees. Its foreign business is in charge of $224 billion in assets.
Its entry into crypto custody comes after Commerzbank, the nation’s first full-service bank, announced earlier this month that it had received a crypto custody license from regulators.
A week earlier, the British bank HSBC announced that it will work with the Ripple-owned digital asset custody company Metaco to introduce tokenized securities crypto custody for the upcoming year.
Legislators and regulators on the continent have worked to make room for cryptocurrency as a regulated financial sector this year, improving the climate for established financial firms.
Bitpanda, a partner of Raiffeisen Bank, was established in 2014 with the goal of facilitating the introduction of stock, ETF, and cryptocurrency custody services by Fintechs and traditional banks in a regulated environment.
BitPanda said over X on Thursday that “recent events have once again shown that regulatory compliance must not be seen as a barrier to growth.” “We sincerely believe that the long-term success of the cryptocurrency industry depends on a collaborative approach to regulation.”
The U.S. Department of Justice fined Binance $4.3 billion earlier this week for violating anti-money laundering regulations specifications.