German savings banks want to activate Bitcoin for 50 million customers

German savings banks plan to allow customers to invest in major digital currencies like Bitcoin ( BTC ) and Ether ( ETH ) directly from c...

German savings banks plan to allow customers to invest in major digital currencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) directly from current accounts.

Savings banks in German-speaking countries, also known as Sparkassen, are working on a pilot project to launch an internal cryptocurrency wallet and trade next year, local business magazine Capital city reported December 13.

The pilot project is subject to the approval of the Sparkasse committees early next year, while the banking association aims to develop associated services in early 2022.

A spokesperson for the German Association of Savings Banks confirmed the news to Cointelegraph, saying:

“More and more consumers are interested in crypto-assets. One in ten customers of German Caisses d’Épargne say they own or have owned crypto-assets. Given their expectations, Groupe Financier des Caisses d’Épargne needs to look into crypto-assets, too. “

The representative added that a group of experts from German IT service provider S-Payment “is currently exploring ways to provide an option to securely store crypto assets in a wallet for selected customers.”

A corresponding pilot project should first start with the individual savings banks, with each of the 370 Sparkassen independently deciding whether or not to introduce crypto trading. According to Capital cityAccording to the sources, a number of banks have already shown a marked interest in the crypto platform.

Sparkassen are commercial banks which operate savings banks in German-speaking countries in a decentralized structure, with each bank operating independently. With around 50 million customers, savings banks hold 1,000 billion euros ($ 1,200 billion) in total assets.

S-Payment did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

Related: Germany’s new government cites crypto in coalition deal

Germany has become one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the world, with the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority issuance of a crypto custody business license for the German branch of Coinbase earlier this year. German stock operator Deutsche Boerse has also listed more than 20 crypto products traded on the exchange on its digital exchange, Xetra.