Category Archives: BaFIn

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German Finance Regulator: Blockchain Could Be Revolutionary

Chief of the German Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), Felix Hufeld, has described blockchain technology as “revolutionary” while stating that he sees it as capable of turning the financial sector ”upside down”.

Speaking during an event in Berlin last week, Hufeld, president of BaFin, outlined his position on both Bitcoin and blockchain.

While holding a skeptical view on the sustainability of Bitcoin’s price and the current initial coin offering (ICO) boom, Hufeld expressed his belief that blockchains capacity to power distributed applications “could actually be revolutionary”.

Highlighting the benefits unique to blockchain, Hufeld noted: “These apps are not only safe from failures of individual computers or providers, they also promote the development of a ”blockchain economy”.

An additional advantage of blockchain Hufeld considers is its potential in providing “effective control mechanisms or trustworthy institutions” in areas such as international aid that lack dependable regulation.

It appears Hufeld’s opinions have developed since April when he stated he merely did not want to ”kill [blockchain] innovation“, as BaFin expanded cryptocurrency regulations on the pretext of money laundering concerns.

Germany’s position on Bitcoin

Earlier this week, members of the German federal government stated that they believed Bitcoin did not provide a threat to financial stability because they view the volume of cryptocurrency asset transactions as too low to have a large impact on the German economy.

However, the representatives said that they believed an increase in regulatory measures was required to control the industry, with the government considering it important to monitor this area closely at the G20 level.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a report in April that cited similar reasoning as that of the German government in regards to not seeing cryptocurrencies as a threat to global financial stability.

 

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German Banks Can Offer ATMs Exchanging Bitcoin and Ether to Euro

The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), has clarified that banks have the right to upgrade existing ATMs in the country to facilitate certain cryptocurrencies, according to Trustnodes.

The German FCA has announced that the country’s banks can take up the new option, but as yet none have responded to the opportunity to allow customers to exchange BTC or Ether for Euros using the machines.

Responding to a question by Thomas Lutze, representative of a left-wing party in Germany, BaFin stated:

“Each institute, which has permission for proprietary trading, also has the right to set up machines that allow the exchange of Bitcoin in euros and vice versa. So far it is not known that this was done.”

Its reported that the modification of the machines would offer QR code facilities to enable simple address scanning and modification.

Cryptocurrency ATMs are becoming far more commonplace around the globe, although Europe has a long way before it catches up with the US. Prague has recently seen the arrival of 10 new Bitcoin ATMs across the city’s subway routes, and London now has 74 positioned around the city, although 118 businesses also accept Bitcoin as payment.

However, London ranks 6th globally on the crypto convenience list, with the top five cities all located in North America. Los Angeles tops the list with 145 ATMs and over 850 firms accepting Bitcoin payments. Other cities with a healthy spread include Toronto, New York, and Atlanta. Argentina has expressed a desire to have a gargantuan total of 30,000 located across the nation and US capital Washington DC has recently doubled its ATM availability from 20 to 40 due to public demand.

There are reportedly six German banks currently trading cryptocurrency according to BaFin, although the banks haven’t as yet been named. It remains to be seen whether banks see enough customer demand to operate the service

However, German stock exchanges are seriously looking at cryptocurrency options for the future. Deutsche Boerse, the owner of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, is evaluating whether to offer cryptocurrency products, according to Bloomberg. If this is the case, this will be the second German stock exchange to make announcements this year regarding a move towards the adoption of cryptocurrency related products, after Boerse Stuttgart Digital Adventures announced the release of its Bison app in April.

 

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