Raiffeisen Bank Unit Partners With Bitpanda to Offer Crypto Trading
Raiffeisenlandesbank (RLB) NÖ-Wien, an Austrian lending unit of the 96-year-old banking group, signed a letter of intent to cooperate with crypto exchange Bitpanda to offer digital asset investment opportunities. According to Bitpanda’s announcement, the move makes RLB the first traditional European bank to foray into digital assets.
The Deal’s Assessment to be Completed by the End of 2023
Digital asset service platform Bitpanda has teamed up with Raiffeisen Bank’s Vienna-based unit to offer crypto services to the bank’s customers, according to a Wednesday press release. The two companies have signed a letter of intent to collaborate, while the offer’s evaluation process is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
“We’re pleased to announce that Raiffeisenlandesbank NÖ-Wien, which forms part of Austria’s leading banking group, has become the first major traditional bank in the European Union to move into digital assets through a planned collaboration with Bitpanda Technology Solutions.”– Bitpanda said in the blog post.
Through Bitpanda’s infrastructure, clients of the RLB NÖ-Wien – one of the first traditional banks in Europe – will access cryptocurrencies and other asset classes within the bank’s digital investment offering. The new offering targets RLB’s customers looking to make independent, digital investments in cryptocurrencies, stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and precious metals and commodities. Those who want to invest can do that with just one euro and without minimum capital requirements.
Founded in 2014, Bitpanda is a cryptocurrency and fintech platform that allows users to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies, commodities, and individual stocks and ETFs through the company’s new initiative – Bitpanda Stocks. Last year, the exchange teamed up with UK fintech firm Plum to help offer digital asset services in several EU countries.
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A Boost for Poor Crypto Adoption Among European Lenders
RLB’s agreement with Bitpanda marks a significant step forward for crypto adoption among traditional lenders in Europe. Earlier this year, the European Central Bank (ECB) published a survey revealing that regional lenders barely engage in crypto-related activities. However, some in the crypto industry are hopeful that the recently-approved landmark regulation could spur institutional adoption in the bloc.
In contrast, several traditional US banks have been actively involved in the crypto industry. Those include Wall Street giants Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase, which has developed its blockchain network, Onyx.
As a result, institutional crypto adoption in the US has risen over the past year or so, despite the severe market downturn. However, the recent closures of the top two US crypto banks, Signature Bank and Silvergate, could slow future adoption.
Why do you think EU banks’ activity in crypto has been so tepid so far? Let us know in the comments below.