On November 29, the German parliament passed a bill that will allow banks in the country to sell and store digital currencies and crypto-assets. This will be effective from January 1, 2020, and only custody providers and cryptocurrency exchanges with licenses will be allowed to operate.
As such, these companies have the whole of December to apply for the necessary licenses in order to be able to legally operate in the country’s new crypto regime. To be eligible for the licenses, the companies will have to be registered as legal German entities with no less than two directors operating in the country by the end of the year.
Now, all that remains is for the bill which implements the “fourth EU Money Laundering Directive” amendment to be signed off by the 16 German states. It is expected that most, if not all, of the states will sign in favor of the bill.
The bill is a pretty huge step forward for crypto especially with regards to the quest for mainstream adoption of crypto. Before the German parliament passed the bill, banks in the country were prohibited from offering any sort of direct access to cryptocurrencies and related assets. Instead, the banks could only rely on external custodians or dedicated subsidiaries.
According to a number of experts in the financial sector, the move is definitely going to have a huge impact on the European crypto market. In fact, many of them have pointed out that it effectively paves the way for Germany’s ascension to crypto haven in the continent and possibly the rest of the world.
Since financial institutions already enjoy a tremendous amount of trust, they are probably the best options for the safekeeping of digital currencies and assets. Moreover, they will play a huge role in the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing which are by far some of the biggest concerns when it comes to digital currencies.
Is A Crypto Migration Possible?
Well, considering how unconducive certain jurisdictions have become for crypto investors, a shift to friendlier places such as Germany is possible. For instance, China has been cracking down on a number of crypto-related currencies. This is perhaps in preparation for the state-sanctioned cryptocurrency that the country has been pursuing. Still, domestic users are definitely going to find workarounds.
Similarly, Russia also seems to be leaning towards a possible crypto ban – the country’s central bank has recently backed a potential ban on crypto payments. The reason this is a consideration is the large number of concerns that are associated with the sector. For now, nothing has been decided yet but given the recent history of crypto regulation, anything could happen.