In an official blog post, Bitpanda announced that it has secured a crypto custody license from the German financial authority, BaFin.
Having obtained this license, the Austrian-based crypto exchange can now legally market its services to residents of Germany. Bitpanda also claimed to be the first retail crypto exchange based out of Europe to have achieved this distinction.
The collapse of the FTX crypto exchange has brought increased scrutiny to unregulated crypto exchanges that operate outside of a country’s jurisdiction. For this reason, many exchanges are seeking to gain licenses in multiple countries to prove that they are legitimate. This latest license adds to the list of countries Bitpanda is officially regulated in, including Austria, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden and France.
Previously, the license has been obtained by four other crypto-related firms: Coinbase, Kapilendo, Tangany and Upvest. The latter three cater to institutional investors. Meanwhile, United States-based Coinbase is a retail investment platform. Bitpanda claims to be the first “European” retail crypto platform to get the license because it is based in Austria.
Bitpanda CEO Eric Demuth told Cointelegraph that this license “was the result of many months of hard work by the entire Bitpanda team.” He stated that the company can now prove that it is an honest and trustworthy custodian of crypto assets for German customers:
“We can and will prove that we mean business when it comes to Bitpanda making customer safety our top priority. […] Acquiring licenses may be difficult in itself, but we are absolutely committed to continuing on this path - because it is the only right thing to do.”
The issue of how to license and regulate crypto exchanges has been a hot topic since the collapse of FTX. The Bank of England Deputy Governor, Jon Cunliffe, has revealed that the BoE intends to create a “regulatory sandbox” to explore ways to regulate exchanges effectively, and the U.S. Senate has launched a hearing to consider how to effectively regulate crypto exchanges.
Bitpanda's Eric Demuth originally provided comments in German to Cointelegraph’s Veronika Rinecker, which were previously published in a German-language article discussing this topic.