Deutsche Bank latest institution to enter crypto arena

Deutsche Bank latest institution to enter crypto arena

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Deutsche Bank is seeking to increase its income in the digital assets space and has applied for a licence in Germany.

A potential income stream

According to a report earlier on BNN Bloomberg, the largest German bank has applied to the regulator for a licence to be able to custody cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

Bloomberg quoted David Lynne, Head of Deutsche’s commercial banking unit, who said at a conference on Tuesday:

“We’re building out our digital assets and custody business. We just put our application into the Bafin for the digital asset license,” 

Lynne was also quoted as saying that the licence application was part of a strategy to increase fee income at Deutsche’s corporate bank division, something that is also being done at Deutsche’s investment arm DWS Group.

Institutions finally entering the crypto space

The Deutsche Bank move into crypto is fresh on the heels of other major institutional sallies in this direction. Blackrock’s filing for a spot Bitcoin ETF was announced late last week, while Fidelity is also rumoured to be doing the same thing, as well as eyeing up the possible purchase of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.

It does seem rather portentous that just as retail investors are fleeing the cryptocurrency market in droves, some of the biggest Western institutions are going in the opposite direction and are finally entering the crypto asset space.

Deutsche Bank’s colourful past

However, not all in the cryptocurrency sector might be appreciative of Deutsche Bank’s latest step into the world of digital assets. Some might say that in the traditional finance world Deutsche Bank makes FTX look like a man stealing a loaf of bread.

The largest of the German banks has been made to pay many millions of dollars in fines over recent years for an absolute litany of financial misdemeanours that range from interest rate manipulation, to bribes, to Russian money laundering, and to turning a blind eye to Jeffery Epstein’s use of the bank, to name but a few.

Add to this that Deutsche Bank is said to be in a parlous financial situation and could be one of the next banks to fall. Although given that it is judged to be one of the Globally Systemically Important Banks (GSIBs), in short “too big to fail”, central banks might potentially backstop Deutsche if it came to it. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. 

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