Commerzbank has become the first full-service commercial bank in Germany to be awarded a crypto custody licence.
Germany introduced a new licensing regime for crypto services in 2020 along with an amendment to the EU's Money Laundering Directive, in order to encourage regulated firms to enter the crypto market.
Commerzbank first applied for a licence in April 2022. German rival Deutsche Bank followed suit in June this year.
Commerzbank has yet to release details of the technology stack for the venture, but says that it aims "to establish a secure and reliable platform with full regulatory compliance to support its institutional clients by providing custody for crypto assets based on blockchain technology".
The initiative reognises the de-thawing of banking interest in the market following the recent 'crypto-winter'. A recent research note by Deutsche Bank painted cryptocurrencies and ether as new long-term asset classes that banks would be unwise to ignore.
Dr Jörg Oliveri del Castillo-Schulz, Commerzbank COO, comments: “Now that we have been granted the licence, we have achieved an important milestone. This highlights our ongoing commitment to applying the latest technologies and innovations, and it forms the foundation for supporting our customers in the areas of digital assets."