Austrian cooperative banking company – Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien (RLB NÖ-Wien) – has partnered with Bitpanda to roll out crypto investment services through the latter’s software as a service (SaaS) offering.
With this collaboration, RLB NÖ-Wien has become the first major traditional bank in the European Union to move into digital assets.
Alongside crypto investment, the Austrian company will also focus on the potential implementation of stocks and ETFs, crypto, commodities, as well as precious metals as part of its offering with a budget of as little as one euro. The main aim is to help the bank customers “reach their financial ambitions,” the official press release noted.
Bitpanda CEO Eric Demuth highlighted the complexity and lack of inclusivity in the financial market. The exec, in a statement, said the company intends to simplify the process and make investing accessible to everyone.
“It is about simple, intuitive products that do not require a user manual. With Bitpanda Technology Solutions you have we have created a software-as-a-service infrastructure that enables our partner banks to offer their customers all assets digitally. Rounded off by regulated and secure custody of all assets. We look forward to our common path.”
As part of the deal, RLB NÖ-Wien has signed a letter of intent with Bitpanda. The evaluation process for a concrete offer is expected to conclude by the year-end.
Addressing Crypto Regulatory Landscape
The partnership comes days after the European Union (EU) lawmakers gave their final approval to the long-awaited regulatory framework – Market in Cryptoassets (MiCA) – which seeks to set up a comprehensive regulatory framework for crypto-assets, focusing on disclosure and consumer protection.
First proposed in December 2020, MiCA will bring in new rules for the industry across the bloc and is expected to be published in the Official Journal of the EU this summer. Provisions for stablecoins will be rolled out in late June 2024. Subsequently, provisions guiding crypto asset service providers are likely to be implemented by the end of next year.
The move is being touted as a notable example of the EU’s evolving approach to crypto regulation, which is in contrast to the United States’ regulation-by-enforcement method.
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