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Six German Banks Have Been Trading Bitcoin for Some Time

An interesting connection between traditional finance and cryptocurrency has become apparent over the past few months. In Germany, various financial institutions are trading Bitcoin despite the lack of regulation. That is a surprising development, and an interesting one to keep an eye on.

German Banks Embrace Bitcoin

It has become rather apparent that there is a bright future ahead for cryptocurrency in the financial sector. Whether or not this will lead to positive developments in terms of the prices of Bitcoin and Ethereum remains to be determined. Institutional money entering the cryptocurrency space is expected to be a good thing, although nothing is guaranteed.

Even so, various German financial institutions took the plunge and commenced Bitcoin trading quite some time ago. This information came to light thanks to a recent Ministry of Finance survey. The German financial regulator, BaFin, stumbled upon six banks trading Bitcoin and potentially other cryptocurrencies.

Unlike what some people might expect, there is no active investigation into whether or not these companies are laundering money. That’s a good thing, since such a development could hinder the growth of cryptocurrency in Germany. Institutions have the country’s permission to engage in proprietary trading, which means they can convert Bitcoin to and from fiat currencies freely.

Considering that most banks and other financial service providers across Europe remain cautious when it comes to dealing with cryptocurrencies, this development is surprising, to say the least. While no information was presented in terms of how much money is being traded by these institutions and whether or not this activity has been commercialized, there’s plenty of room for speculation.

Since there is no immediate threat to speak of, the German government has no plan to introduce additional cryptocurrency regulation. Indeed, the stability of the German financial markets won’t face pressure even if these banks continue to trade Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Even so, there is an ongoing investigation into whether or not the EU money laundering directive should be revised in the future.

All of this further shows that financial institutions are well aware of the power of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Even so, a cautious approach seems more than warranted at this stage in the evolution of cryptocurrency markets.

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A U.S.-based cryptocurrency investor and entrepreneur has filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against telecommunications firm AT&T. Michael Terpin believes that he became the victim of a theft in which a large amount of digital currency was taken from him due to the company’s negligence. Terpin Believes He Was the Victim of a SIM Swap Fraud Michael Terpin has brought legal action against the U.S. telecommunications provider AT&T. The investor and early cryptocurrency advocate filed a 69-page complaint with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. During the document, Terpin claims that a large number of digital coins and tokens were stolen from him on January 7, 2018. It goes on to state that AT&T are guilty of gross negligence and fraud, which resulted in the loss of a substantial amount of cryptocurrency. According to Reuters, AT&T responded via email to the complaint by stating: “We dispute these allegations and look forward to presenting our case in court.” The filing claims that Terpin was the victim of a SIM swap fraud that was made possible by the negligence of AT&T. Such a scam involves fraudsters convincing a mobile phone provider to switch a user’s phone number to another SIM card which is under their control. Scammers can then use the number to reset login information for various accounts, allowing them to access them. Michael Terpin is the co-founder of BitAngels – an early angel group for Bitcoin investors. He also helped to set up the first digital currency fund, the BitAngels/Dapps fund in 2014. Today, Terpin is one of the Alphabit Fund’s top advisers. According to the court documents, a total of three million digital tokens were taken from Terpin. Back in January, these were worth around $23.8 million collectively. The filing also states that Terpin is seeking an additional $200 million in punitive damages. Whatever the outcome of Terpin’s court case, it illustrates the dangers of keeping large amounts of digital assets anywhere but in properly secured cold storage. The precise details of the storage of Terpin’s tokens are not currently known. However, any solution which could be comprised by SIM swap fraud is evidently not secure enough. Terpin’s missing funds join the other $1.2 billion plus of cryptos stolen from poorly secured storage solutions since 2017. The case also highlighted a need for adequate custody services in the cryptocurrency industry. This is seen by many as one of the most important steps to opening cryptocurrencies to a wider group of investors. Many do not have the technical knowledge required to set up totally secure paper wallets. Others simply shirk the responsibility of being the sole participant responsible for the safety of their digital wealth. The industry is responding, however. Already this year, NewsBTC has reported on efforts by Circle, Coinbase, and Blockchain to facilitate secure storage for large net-worth individuals and institutions. Featured image from Shutterstock. The post US Investor Files Lawsuit Against AT&T Over Cryptocurrency Theft appeared first on NewsBTC.

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