Green light means the regulator is happy with Bitpanda’s custody arrangements for investors’ funds.
Austrian fintech unicorn Bitpanda has secured a licence to offer trading and crypto custody in Germany, becoming the first local European retail investment platform to do so.
The win means Bitpanda joins US trading giant Coinbase in being one of only two retail platforms in Germany with a Crypto Custody and Proprietary Trading licence granted by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).
BaFin’s licence means Bitpanda can now offer crypto custody and trading as well as maintain its own order book and directly market its services to retail investors.
“Receiving the licence in Germany is the result of many months of hard work on the part of the entire Bitpanda team and took close cooperation with the team at BaFin. It strengthens our position as a pioneer in terms of regulation in Europe and highlights yet again how well positioned we are in this area,” said Bitpanda’s CEO and co-founder Eric Demuth
The CEO made passing reference to the ongoing chaos caused by FTX’s bankruptcy and the billions in currently unaccounted for customer funds, he said:
“We want to give our customers a safe, secure and simple way to invest. That means being regulated and it means a strict separation of customer and company assets, which is sadly not the case everywhere these days.”
Administrators are currently have spent the last week scrambling to verify FTX’s financial position after CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s $30bn crypto trading empire imploded following a liquidity crisis.
Current reports suggest that more than $1bn worth of FTX’s customer assets are unaccounted for, a figure that could rise as it becomes clear that management were using customer funds as loans for trading.