Category Archives: Frankfurt Stock Exchange

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Siemens Invests $681 Million in Blockchain and Fintech City

The largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe, AG Siemens, has announced that it will invest USD 681 million into a center for the study and development of blockchain, artificial intelligence, and other innovative technologies.

The German giant has planned to use Berlin as the site for what it will call SiemensStadt (Siemens City) on a 70 hectares site in an industrial zone in the suburb of Spandau. The concept will eventually metamorphose into a science park linking history to the area where the company found its roots back in the 19th century as the site of some of Siemens AG’s first factories.

The long-term project, set for completion in 2030, will see the initial buildings develop into a technology park and base for new startups, making an important link between business, innovation and science. A major focus on the development of both blockchain and AI technologies has been earmarked as essential moving forward. Other areas of development which will take place in SiemensStadt will include data analysis, the development of electric vehicles, distributed power systems, and energy management.

Despite Siemens announcing job losses last month to the tune of 2,900 staff due to restructuring, the company has stated that the new project will provide employment for hundreds. Berlin’s mayor, Michael Müller, suggested that “the city’s status as a scientific center would be boosted by the investment”.

It has been a productive year for Germany on the fintech front, with the country’s central bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, successfully completing two blockchain trials during its collaboration with Deutsche Börse, owner of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The two blockchain prototypes were designed to test the technology’s potential in securities settlements, transactions, and payments, as well as bond repayments.

Earlier in 2018, Germany’s second-largest stock exchange, Boerse Stuttgart took the step to host Crypto Trading and Coin Offerings, following the announcement that its new Bison app would be released later this year by fintech company Sowa Labs, a subsidiary of Boerse Stuggart Digital Ventures.

 

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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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Deutsche Boerse Becomes Second German Stock Exchange Embracing Crypto

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.

Jeffrey Tellsler, Deutsche Boerse’s head of clients products and core markets, spoke to an industry event in London organized by the Association for Financial Markets in Europe on Wednesday suggesting that the company was “deep at work with it”. Tellsler went on to comment:

“Before we move forward with anything like Bitcoin we want to make sure we understand the underlying transaction which isn’t the easiest thing to do.”

The company’s rivals in the US, Cboe Global Markets Inc and CME Group Inc, became involved in Bitcoin futures last November, and due to regional regulation, no European company had been able to follow suit until this latest move, although he did admit that as yet Boerse Deutsche wasn’t at the same level.

Germany, along with France who is more supportive of ICOs, has been vocal within the EU in supporting blockchain technology and has joined 21 other countries in supporting initiatives with the aim of reinforcing local innovation.

Last June, Deutsche Boerse revealed a plan to move the majority of its post-trade services to a blockchain, using Hyperledger’s open-source Fabric protocol to transfer securities and move commercial bank money.

The firm is clearly moving into the crypto space arena with some urgency, following its announcement in March of a securities lending platform using R3’s Corda blockchain technology. Tellsler explained that before they could proceed, the firm needed to ensure that they understood the volatility of the Bitcoin market, and made sure clients and regulators were in line before moving forward.

In a recent Sowa Labs survey of 1,019 German crypto traders, 16.9% owned a single cryptocurrency, while 18.2% confessed to owning several. Of the respondents, 81% were male, 19% were female, and 54% were 35 years old or younger. More than 80% of respondents opened their first trading account from 2017 onward.

 

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