Austrian fintech unicorn Bitpanda, announced on Tuesday that its local unit — Bitpanda Asset Management GmbH, has received its Crypto Custody and Proprietary Trading licence for crypto assets from the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).
With this move, Austrian unicorn becomes the first European retail investment platform to meet BaFin’s strict regulatory requirements.
What’s the licence all about?
The Crypto Custody and Proprietary Trading licence for crypto assets is based on the new licensing regime introduced by BaFin in January 2020.
It is the most comprehensive licence of its type in Germany. It will allow Bitpanda to offer crypto custody and proprietary trading for crypto assets for German residents.
The licence also enables Bitpanda to maintain an order book and directly market services for crypto assets, providing a secure and regulated environment to invest in a wide range of cryptocurrencies.
Eric Demuth, CEO and co-founder of Bitpanda says, “At Bitpanda, we set the highest standards for ourselves and remain committed to doing things right and the right things. This principle is firmly embedded in our DNA as a fully regulated investment platform and, in my opinion, critical to the long-term success of our industry. The security of our customer’s digital assets and those of our White Label partners is our top priority.”
“Receiving the licence in Germany is the result of many months of hard work on the part of the Bitpanda team and took close cooperation with the team at BaFin. It strengthens our position as a pioneer in terms of regulation in Europe and highlights yet again how well-positioned we are in this area. We want to give our customers a safe, secure and simple way to invest. That means being regulated, and it means a strict separation of customer and company assets, which is sadly not the case everywhere these days. We have more exciting announcements to come in 2023 as we continue to deliver additional licences and product innovations.”
Bitpanda: What you need to know
Founded in 2014 by Eric Demuth, Paul Klanschek, and Christian Trummer as a crypto trading platform, Bitpanda‘s mission is to simplify wealth creation.
The platform removes complicated financial barriers through digitised assets and blockchain technology. It lets users trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, gold, and over 100 other digital assets.
The Austrian platform offers low fees, 24/7 trading, and real-time settlements. As a result, everyone can start investing (from as little as €1) and take ownership of their financial future.
Currently, the company employs around 730 people and is set to reach 4M customers, making it Austria’s most valuable fintech company.
Austria’s first unicorn
The crypto exchange platform is backed by Valar Ventures, Alan Howard and REDO Ventures, LeadBlock Partners, Jump Crypto, and others. According to the figures by Dealroom, Bitpanda has raised a total funding of $496M (approximately €482M).
In June, Bitpanda laid off around 240 employees to ensure the company’s sustainability. The Austrian unicorn cited geopolitical tensions, increasing inflation, and worries about the impending recession as reasons.
The founders made this decision to ensure that the company is well-capitalised to get out of the situation financially healthy, no matter how long it takes for markets to recover.
“It is a tough but necessary decision, and we are confident that the new organisational design will help us be more focused, effective, and stronger as a company,” say the founders.