Reuters reports that Germany’s Finance Ministry, through its financial regulatory agency BAFIN, has revealed that there at least six banks that are actively involved in cryptocurrency trading.
The revelations emerged due to an answer by the Federal Ministry of Finance responding to a query by left-wing representative Thomas Lutze on Friday. The recent details are based on a research conducted by the financial regulator and supervisory body, Bafin, on the state of crypto trading and acquisition in the country. However, the names of the banking institutions were not revealed.
The report to the parliament indicates that Bafin has no case against any financial institution of money laundering, due diligence or malpractices in reporting obligations with regards to crypto.
The report also indicated that all the banks involved in crypto trading have acquired the relevant licenses and have the permission to come up with mechanisms to guide the exchange of cryptos in fiat currency – and vice versa.
The ministry also revealed that due to stringent measures implemented in the recent past, the number of cases involving cryptocurrencies have significantly reduced. The ministry said that about 500 cases of suspicious crypto trading and transactions have been reported to different German authorities since mid last year. The recently launched Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in the Directorate of customs has received about 280 cases involving cryptocurrencies from January to end of April this year. The ministry said that it’s still looking on ways to rid the market off dubious transactions to curb money laundering and other financial crimes.
More Banks Exploring Ways to Get Into Crypto
While Berlin remains the center of crypto trading in Europe, many more mainstream banks in the world are exploring how they can get a share of the burgeoning crypto market.
Banks such as Barclays, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan to name but a few have all established cryptocurrency and blockchain units to look at how the banks can assist their customers who are enthusiastic about cryptocurrencies. Banks are also tapping into the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry for experts who can help them to earn from the nascent industry.
However, there are also legal uncertainties around the world as there are no rigid laws to guide the industry, with the US being the most affected destination. In the case of Germany, the ministry of finance says it sees no risks to the stability of the financial markets.
Given the wide range of unresolved issues and significant risks associated with unclear benefits, the issuance of digital central bank money to a wide range of eurozone beneficiaries is currently not an option,
– Said the ministry, referring to considerations by the Swedish Central Bank. Sweden is not part of the eurozone.
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