Sparkasse’s secret project was confirmed–the network of 370 savings banks across Germany is planning to give 50 million people exposure to crypto.
The country’s leading banking group is working on enabling customers access to crypto–directly from their current banking account, Finanz Szene reported.
Sparkasse’s crypto wallet project revealed
According to the report, Spakasse’s crypto wallet would enable customers to access Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies–without having to use one of the big crypto exchanges.
This would lower the barriers for Sparkasse customers, who wouldn’t need to go through additional authentication processes in order to use the crypto wallet feature.
“The interest in cryptocurrencies is enormous, the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe also sees it,” said Alexander Hartberg, spokesman for the German Savings Banks and Giro Association (DSGV), who confirmed the pilot project.
According to Hartberg, an in-house subcontractor that specializes in payment solutions within the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, S-Payment, is in charge of the project “carried out to determine which possibilities and risks a wallet, in which Sparkasse customers can safely store cryptocurrencies, offers.”
“The project team prepares decisions in the committees of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe in the first half of 2022,” added Hartberg, noting that the project is yet to be greenlighted.
Could the wallet launch in 2022?
The service could be launched in the coming year, but before that, individual bank committees have to reach their decisions–after all, the 370 branches in the group function as independent banks.
Several technical details remain to be clarified–for example, does S-Payment or another Sparkasse player apply for a crypto custody license from Germany’s financial regulatory authority–Bafin?
Whether the savings banks will take the custody into their own hands or commission an external service provider to do so, remains to be revealed.
The previously secret project would be the first of its kind in the European banking landscape and due to the banking group’s large user-base, its impact could be enormous.
Similar projects from other major financial institutions in Germany, such as Commerzbank or Deutsche Bank are not known.
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