$1.4 trillion banking giant Deutsche Bank files for crypto custody license

The remarkable growth of the crypto market in recent years has captured the attention of numerous non-crypto financial institutions and banks, leading to a wave of mainstream adoption for digital assets.

Once viewed as a niche and speculative investment, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are now being embraced by traditional financial players seeking to tap into the potential benefits and opportunities they offer.

In that context, the latest such non-crypto financial institution that is hopping on the crypto bandwagon is Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest lender, according to a Bloomberg report on June 20. 

Deutsche Bank taps digital assets to spur growth

Deutsche Bank filed an application to obtain a license for providing digital asset custody services, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

“We’re building out our digital assets and custody business. We just put our application into the Bafin for the digital asset license.”– David Lynne, head of Deutsche Bank’s commercial banking arm. 

If authorized, this will allow Deutsche, a European banking giant with a total balance sheet of more than €1.3 trillion ($1.42 trillion), to provide custody services for digital assets such as cryptocurrencies.

Crypto custody services refer to the secure storage and management of digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies, on behalf of institutional and individual investors. These services involve storing private keys, which are essential for accessing and transferring digital assets, in highly secure offline or online storage solutions. 

According to Lynne, the move represents part of Deutsche’s wider strategy to boost fee income at its corporate banking unit. 

Deutsche Bank’s corporate bank first implied plans to become a crypto custody provider in late 2020. However, the lender hasn’t disclosed any specifics about a potential timeline since then. 

In April 2023, Deutsche’s asset management arm DWS announced a partnership with US-based Galaxy Digital to launch exchange-traded products (ETPs) for digital assets. 

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