German savings banks want to enable Bitcoin for 50M clients

German savings banks plan to let customers invest in digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), directly from their checking accounts.

Sparkassen is a German-speaking savings bank that works on a pilot program to launch a cryptocurrency exchange and wallet in their own banks next year. Local business magazine Capital reported Dec. 13.

Sparkasse committees will need to approve the pilot project in the first half of next year. Meanwhile, the bank association plans to develop related services by the end of 2022.

Cointelegraph was informed by a spokesperson from the German Savings Banks Association that the news had been confirmed. He stated:

“Crypto-assets are becoming more popular with consumers. One in ten German Savings Banks customers states that they have owned or had ownership of crypto-assets. The Savings Banks Finance Group must also consider crypto-assets due to their expectations.

A representative from S-Payment, a German IT service provider, stated that they are currently “exploring ways to offer an option to store crypto-assets safely in a wallet for select customers.”

The pilot project should begin with individual savings banks. Each Sparkassen will decide whether or not crypto trading is allowed. Capital sources indicate that a few banks have expressed an interest in the cryptocurrency platform.

Sparkassen are commercial banks that operate savings banks in German-speaking nations. They have a decentralized structure with each bank operating separately. The savings banks have around 50 million customers and reportedly have 1 trillion euros ($1.2 Trillion) in total assets.

Cointelegraph did not receive a response from S-Payment immediately to our request for comment.

Similar: German new government mentions crypto in a coalition agreement

Germany is now one of the most crypto-friendly nations in the world. The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority issued a crypto custody license earlier this year for Coinbase’s Germany branch. Deutsche Boerse, a German stock exchange operator, has listed over 20 crypto-exchange-traded products on its digital platform, Xetra.