Almost 30 percent of the equity in WEG Bank AG, a previously obscure German bank focused on the real estate industry, is now owned by companies in the cryptocurrency industry, CoinDesk has learned.
Nimiq co-founder Elion Chin said in a statement:
This cross-industry partnership could eventually offer fiat liquidity to decentralized exchange (DEX) users – if they pass the WEG Bank’s screening process.
These days, few DEXs can connect to institutional bank accounts for professional usage, unlike centralized exchange options. Meant to help facilitate the first DEX to WEG Bank AG transaction, the in-progress Nimiq system is scheduled for a limited launch by 2020. That said, WEG Bank AG will remain a traditional bank, never directly touching cryptocurrency.
"For the past 12 months, we have been looking at various ways to expand our core banking activities into the blockchain community,” WEG Bank AG CEO Matthias von Hauff said in a press statement about the effort in February. “With Nimiq, we have been able to develop not only a landmark payment interface which has the potential to revolutionize the way we deal with cryptocurrencies, but also an innovative and powerful partnership."
For its part, Nimiq announced in a blog post that it would work with DEXs like Agora Trade to act as a “middleman to transfer funds between crypto markets and the traditional banking system,” charging a small percentage of transaction fees along the way. In return, the blog post says, Agora Trade will list Nimiq’s NIM tokens for cross-chain trades with ether and bitcoin without any exchange fees for NIM users.
Nimiq is also partnering with Binance-owned Trust Wallet, according to a recent blog post. The aim is to eventually give users across DEXs access to liquid euros for transactions made with bitcoin, ether or NIM through Nimiq’s upcoming “crypto-to-fiat bridge” called OASIS.
Correction (April 3, 19:00 UTC): Though the Litecoin Foundation is a WEG Bank AG shareholder, Litecoin Foundation Managing Director Charlie Lee is not on the board of the bank, as was previously reported. The article has been updated.
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