Germany’s Sparkassen group of banks – with more than 370 branches and $1tn in assets – is reportedly preparing to move into crypto trading.
According to German ‘Capital’ magazine, the project is located at the centre of the DSV Group – the Deutsche Sparkassenverlag – whose subsidiaries and associated companies are closely involved with Sparkassen.
The report said that a team from the German IT service provider S-Payment, where payment solutions for private and corporate customers of the savings banks are developed and marketed, has been already preparing the concept, but added the Sparkassen committee is yet to vote on the project.
If it gets the green light, the first version of its wallet could be launched before the end of next year.
This project would be a precedent for the European banking landscape, the report claimed.
With approximately 50m customers, the saving bank is known as the market leader among German financial institutions and its entrance into the crypto market would enable a broader target group to trade digital assets as other large banks have not dared to tackle this issue.
According to the plans, this offering would cut down middlemen like Bitcoin exchanges and would not require additional verification procedures or intermediary transactions.
Sparkassen customers will be able to buy cryptocurrencies directly via their checking accounts meaning an advantage over the top dogs such as Coinbase, where new customers first have to identify themselves.
A corresponding pilot project is likely to start first with individual savings banks and, in the end, each of the 370 institutes would independently decide whether to introduce crypto trading or not.