A newly drafted bill has the aim to allow banks in Germany to both hold and sell bitcoin by 2020, along with the possibility of doing the same for other cryptocurrencies. According to a news article published by Handelsblatt on the 27th of November, the draft will require the 16 German states to reach consensus on the topic, before it can be passed to the German federal parliament, known as the ‘Bundestag’.
Traditional financial institutions in Germany, as in most parts of the world, are forbidden to sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to clients. However, the newly published bill would change the situation entirely in Germany, and possibly in the entire European Union if member states were to follow the same path.
In the original version of the draft, there was a ‘separation clause’ that would have required financial institutions such as banks to sell bitcoin and similar digital assets through other cryptocurrency custodians or related subsidiaries. However, in the new version of the bill, the clause is entirely removed so that banks will be able to sell, hold, and manage cryptocurrencies on their own. Handelsblatt believes that the bill would bring a greater level of adoptions to cryptocurrencies.
“Starting in 2020, financial institutions will be able to offer their customers online banking, virtually at the touch of a button, along with classic securities such as stocks and bonds, as well as cryptocurrencies,” states Handelsblatt in their article.
The news of a possible cryptocurrency adoption by banks in Europe’s strongest economy rekindled a motivation inside the cryptocurrency community that had been diminished due to the current bearish price trend. According to certain information, the Association of German Banks, a lobbying group that represents 200 financial institutions, supports the drafted bill and believes that banks are capable of safely storing client assets, despite them being digital.
The question still remains whether the law will pass and be adopted by the German federal parliament, given the fact that the Bundestag recently issued a statement in which bitcoin is referred to as not being ‘real money’ due to its volatility and a small number of use cases for payments.