Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank will roll out cryptocurrency trading services to retail customers by the end of January 2024.
The service will initially be offered to customers in Vienna, where the 97-year-old bank is headquartered, and be provided in association with cryptocurrency exchange Bitpanda, which signed a letter of intent with the bank earlier this year.
“We are starting in Vienna where about a quarter of Austria's population lives,” Curt Chadha, the bank’s head of innovation, said in an interview. “The customer can use their mobile device to enter Bitpanda through the Raiffeisen app. The experience will be familiar, so confirming a trade will work exactly like an account-to-account bank transfer with the same sort of security customers are used to.”
The move by the bank, which has some $215 billion in assets and 17.8 million customers across the European Union and eastern Europe, is another sign of crypto adoption ramping up, particularly in jurisdictions where clarity around rules is emerging.
Chadha said the service is aimed at customers who are digital savvy, but perhaps only want to make a small investment, as opposed to offerings from other banks, which are aimed at wealthy individuals with millions to invest.
Bitpanda, which was founded in Vienna in 2014, is under the supervision of the FMA in Austria and BaFin in Germany, and enables firms to offer regulated trading, investment, and custody services for stocks/ETFs, cryptocurrencies, precious metals, and commodities.
CORRECTION (Nov. 23, 11:21 UTC): Corrects institution to Raiffeisen Bank. An earlier version of this story referred to Raiffeisen Bank International.
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