In Germany, crypto assets are officially financial instruments. The doubts are being dispelled by the German financial supervisory authority, BaFin.
In a press release, BaFin clearly states that crypto assets a financial instrument, providing guidelines for crypto custody services.
First of all, it states that digital goods that have a value, regardless of whether they have been issued by public bodies or central banks, and which people exchange electronically and accept as a payment system or which have an investment purpose, are included in these regulations.
Guidelines are then provided for the licensing requirements to operate with these financial instruments. At this point, as with all financial assets in Germany, written permission from BaFin is required to operate, regardless of whether the person offering the service is a natural person, legal entity or partnership. Companies already operating with cryptocurrencies must be compliant by November 2020. Those operating in Europe will still have to register with BaFin.
Crypto assets and regulation in Germany
In reality, these clarifications are supplementary to the new anti-money laundering legislation that came into force in Germany on January 1st. These regulations are in addition to the broader European anti-money laundering legislation, AMLD5.
This opening up of the German authority comes after it has received more than 40 requests from as many financial institutions wishing to offer cryptocurrency services. Among them, Solaris Bank had received authorization and can operate as a crypto custody service provider.
Germany is therefore open to the changes introduced by blockchain technology and seems ready to face the changes that these innovations bring.
This is also proof that regulation is essential: clarification of the regulatory framework within which to move will only attract more investors and allow the industry to expand.