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Germany passes new bill allowing banks to hold and offer cryptocurrencies: Report

Mon, 02 Dec 2019, 04:54 am UTC

A new regulation will reportedly come into force on January 01, 2020 in Germany, allowing banks to hold and offer cryptocurrencies.

According to local news outlet the Handelsblatt, the German Parliament, the Bundestag, has passed a bill implementing the fourth EU Money Laundering Directive, which would open up German banks to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

Commenting on the news, Sven Hildebrandt, head of the consulting firm DLC, told the news portal: "Germany is well on its way to becoming a crypto-heaven. The German legislator is playing a pioneering role in the regulation of [crypto assets]. "

The German banking association BdB also welcomed the legislation, saying, “Credit institutions are experienced in the safekeeping of client assets and in risk management, are committed to investor protection and have always been controlled by financial supervision.” It added that banks could "effectively prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.”

The BdB further pointed out that the new regulation will make it possible for investors to invest in crypto-assets ​​via domestic funds instead of investing their money overseas.

However, not all are in favor of the new regulation with some expressing over investor protections. Niels Nauhauser, financial expert at the consumer center in Baden-Wuerttemberg, said, “Basically, banks sell a variety of financial products…If they are allowed to sell cryptocurrencies and keep them for a fee, they run the risk of turning their assets at risk of total loss to their clients without them knowing what they are getting into. "

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