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German banks to offer Bitcoin custody by 2020

Oliver Knight

German banks seem to be spearheading the charge for mass adoption of cryptocurrencies by offering custody services for Bitcoin, according to local news outlet Handelsblatt.

Customers will reportedly be able to invest, hold, and track investments in cryptocurrencies starting from 2020.

The move aims to combat the rising issue of money laundering within Germany.

This was highlighted earlier this year as financial giant Deutsche Bank faced action over a $20 billion Russian money laundering scheme.

However, Germany’s approach has been criticised by numerous financial analysts and experts. Niels Nauhauser stated that banks are too aggressive in targeting new customers and that cryptocurrency offerings may result in a significant loss.

“Basically, banks sell a variety of financial products if the commission is right. If they are allowed to sell cryptocurrencies and keep them for a fee, they run the risk of returning a total loss to their clients, without them knowing what they are getting into,” he said.

Earlier this week, an official at the European Central Bank stated that the ECB was investigating the potential launch of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Benoît Cœuré, executive board member of the ECB, claimed that a CBDC could “ensure that citizens remain able to use central bank money even if electronic payments become even more popular”.

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