The future of seeing cryptocurrencies intermingle with traditional money services is inevitable, and such a case will happen in 2020 with German banks making headway in selling Bitcoin (BTC).

A local news outlet, Handelsblatt, reported that under the new law that implements the fourth EU Money Laundering Directive, banking institutions can now provide digital assets to their clients. The bill has already been passed by Bundestag, Germany's federal parliament.

By next year, banks will be able to provide their clients crypto investments alongside traditional securities like bonds and stocks with just a "push of a button."

Sven Hildebrandt, the head of the consulting firm DLC, said, "Germany is well on its way to becoming a crypto-heaven. The German legislator is playing a pioneering role in the regulation of crypto-truths. "

The final version of the bill is distinct from the previous one, with banks having the authority to provide crypto transactions without the need for external custodians or special subsidiaries.  

The new regulation is welcomed by the Association of German Banks (BdB), and they believe that the experience of credit institutions in safekeeping client assets and risk management is paramount in preventing money laundering in crypto. 

Worries of aggressive selling tactics

Since Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a hot topic in the investment world, some German financial experts, particularly Niels Nauhauser of Baden-Wuerttemberg, worry that this might make banks more aggressive in selling digital assets to clueless investors.

"Basically, banks sell a variety of financial products if the commission is right. If they are allowed to sell cryptocurrencies and keep them for a fee, they run the risk of returning a total loss to their clients, without them knowing what they are getting into," Naushauser said.

Fabio De Masi, a financial commentator of Germany's the Left Party, said, "Banks are hot on profits from crypto businesses. However, the financial consumer protection must not be undermined."

RBC's take on crypto and blockchain

Another similar integration of Bitcoin technology with banking services is already in the works with the Royal Bank of Canada. The Toronto-based bank is planning to launch a platform where clients can freely trade Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) and a bank account that combines both fiat and digital assets.

China was once a stronghold of bitcoin but the sector was unregulated and transactions were under the radar of the authorities China was once a stronghold of bitcoin but the sector was unregulated and transactions were under the radar of the authorities Photo: AFP / ANTHONY WALLACE