Austrian Cooperative Bank Partners with Bitpanda to Offer Crypto Investment Services
Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien (RLB NÖ-Wien), an Austrian cooperative banking company, has partnered with Bitpanda to offer crypto investment services through the latter’s software as a service (SaaS) platform, making it the first major traditional bank in the European Union to move into digital assets.
RLB NÖ-Wien intends to offer stocks and ETFs, commodities, precious metals, and cryptocurrency as a part of its offering, with a budget as little as one euro. The company’s aim, according to the official press release, is to assist bank customers in achieving their financial objectives.
Eric Demuth, the CEO of Bitpanda, stated that the financial market is intricate and exclusive, and the company’s intention is to simplify the procedure, making investing accessible to everyone. Demuth added that Bitpanda has created a software-as-a-service infrastructure that enables partner banks to offer their customers all assets digitally with secure custody.
As part of the agreement, RLB NÖ-Wien has signed a letter of intent with Bitpanda. A concrete offer is expected to conclude by the end of the year.
Addressing Crypto Regulatory Landscape
The partnership comes days after the EU approved the Market in Cryptoassets (MiCA) regulatory framework, which aims to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for crypto-assets, focusing on consumer protection and disclosure. The proposed rules will apply to the industry across the bloc and are expected to be published in the Official Journal of the EU this summer. Stablecoins provisions are expected to be rolled out by late June 2024, with provisions governing crypto service providers likely to be put in place by the end of next year.
The move is a significant indication of the EU’s evolving strategy toward crypto regulation, which is distinctly different from the United States’ regulation-by-enforcement approach.