One of the largest banking groups in Germany intends to launch crypto trading services for interested customers this year.
According to a Bloomberg report, the cooperative financial group, comprising more than 700 local banks, a central bank, specialized service providers, and institutions, plans to enter the project’s pilot phase soon.
DZ Bank to Lead Crypto Trading Project
The DZ Bank, a central bank in charge of the project, leads the cooperative financial network. Souad Benkredda, responsible for capital market operations on the central bank board, told Bloomberg that primary banks would soon begin test trading Bitcoin (BTC) and a wide range of other cryptocurrencies with customers.
“Over the course of the year, we will enter the pilot phase for retail trading of cryptocurrencies with the first cooperative banks…We don’t just want to offer trading of one cryptocurrency, but a variety of cryptocurrencies. This is important to us,” stated Benkredda.
Initially, DZ Bank was to work with Deutsche WertpapierService Bank AG (DWP Bank), a securities service provider for savings, cooperatives, and private banks, on implementing the new project. However, the deal has been nixed as the former now has a new undisclosed partner.
An Opportunity For Self Decision Making
Benkredda explained that the trading services would provide an opportunity for self-decision-making as customers will trade the crypto assets independently, without advice. She revealed that the need for such services among cooperative banks is strong, quoting a study by the Geno Association, which found that every second bank wants to activate the solution for their customers. However, the institutions have to make the decision themselves.
While the cooperative banks are keen on introducing crypto products to their offerings, the German savings banks have remained more cautious. The committees of the latter have even urged banks in their association to refrain from offering crypto trading services to their customers.
The latest move by the cooperatives comes about a year after DZ Bank entered a partnership with Swiss firm Metaco and orchestration platform Harmonize to offer digital asset custody services to institutional clients. DZ said the platform for the offering has proven to be a remarkable solution and was selected through an extensive proof-of-concept and diligence process.