Frankfurt In the midst of one of the biggest crypto scandals in history, the Austrian crypto trading platform Bitpanda announces an important milestone: It receives a license from the German financial regulator Bafin for the custody and proprietary trading of cryptocurrencies. The Viennese company announced this on Tuesday morning.
So far, only four companies in Germany have received a crypto custody license from Bafin, including the crypto exchange Coinbase.
“We’ve been working towards this license for a long time and are delighted that we finally got it. We did not choose that the receipt comes at a time when the entire crypto industry is in turmoil, ”said co-founder and CEO Eric Demuth to the Handelsblatt.
The Bafin did not want to comment on request. FTX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, had just gone bankrupt within a week, shaking the entire market.
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According to Demuth, Bitpanda wants to prove that they mean business when it comes to making customer safety their top priority. To this end, the Viennese platform has also commissioned a special audit of the assets from KPMG. He also assures: “Our users’ assets are safe. I can assure you that we are there when you need us.”
On the one hand, Bitpanda is aimed directly at end customers who can trade in cryptocurrencies, stocks or commodities on its own platform. However, since this year the company has also been offering its technical infrastructure to other companies as a so-called white label solution.
success after a difficult year
Bitpanda recently gained the Berlin smartphone bank N26 as a customer. However, the partnership was previously only designed for Austria, as a Bafin license was missing. Bitpanda has now cleared this hurdle.
An N26 spokeswoman said: “We intend to gradually make N26 crypto available in additional European markets over the coming months. We will comment on our plans for bringing the product to market in due course.”
However, the turbulence of the year did not leave Bitpanda untouched. In June, the company laid off around 270 of its 1,000 employees.
At the time, Bitpanda justified the move with a dramatically changed market situation due to geopolitical tensions, rising inflation and concerns about an impending recession. Therefore, cost management is also crucial. In total, Bitpanda says it has almost four million customers.
While Bitpanda has now received the Bafin license after a waiting period of around 1.5 years, numerous other platforms such as market leader Binance still have to be patient.
more on the subject: N26 starts crypto trading – but only in Austria for the time being.