Banking giant Deutsche Bank AG has applied for regulatory permission to operate as a crypto custodian in Germany, the bank said Tuesday. The move came just days after asset management giant BlackRock filed with the SEC to create a spot bitcoin ETF.
“I can confirm that we applied for the BaFin license for crypto custody,” a Deutsche Bank spokesperson told CoinDesk, referring to Germany’s financial regulator.
The bank said in February 2021 that it was exploring cryptocurrency custody in order to be able to offer “institutional-grade hot/cold storage solution with insurance-grade protection.”
The digital asset custody platform, which Deutsche Bank said at the time would be launched in stages, would eventually allow users to buy and sell digital assets through prime brokers and even provide services such as taxation, valuation services and fund administration, lending, staking and voting, and more.
The bank has been active in the space for a while. Most recently, the bank’s asset management group, DWS, reportedly entered into negotiations to acquire a minority stake in two crypto companies – Deutsche Digital Assets, a provider of exchange-traded products, and trading firm Tradias.
At a conference on Tuesday, David Lynn, who runs Deutsche Bank’s commercial banking unit, said that the bank is now “building out [its] digital asset and custody business,” Bloomberg reported earlier.
In February, DWS CEO Stefan Hoops said that the current low crypto prices could create “interesting opportunities” for the asset management division.
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