Cryptocurrency Custody: Compliance Guide & Industry Response

Cryptocurrency Custody

Germany’s Cryptocurrency Custody┬áis becoming important in the global cryptocurrency world. They have rules overseen by BaFin, which is like Germany’s money supervisor. BaFin is essential for managing money stuff in the country, and it also looks after the cryptocurrency market.

Recently, BaFin made some new rules, especially for companies that hold onto people’s cryptocurrencies. These rules aim to make things better and deal with the challenges of the growing crypto market.

Germany’s Cryptocurrency Custody Law

From January 1, Germany has new laws for companies that keep people’s cryptocurrencies safe. These laws not only affect German companies but also those outside Germany serving German customers. One interesting part of these laws is something called “grandfathering.” It’s like protection for companies that were already keeping Germans’ cryptocurrencies safe before these laws started.

The laws say that companies doing this need to say they want a license by March 31 and finish the paperwork by November 30. Even though it’s a bit challenging, this timeline lets existing services follow the new rules without getting in trouble.

It means these companies get the same level of protection as the ones based in Germany. This shows that Germany wants to make sure Cryptocurrency Custody services are safe, even if they’re not in the country. The grandfathering idea helps connect the old way of doing things with the new rules, giving a practical solution for the companies in the industry.

Applying for a License and Deadlines

For cryptocurrency custody services in Germany, applying for a license is crucial under the new rules. The application involves important steps, and businesses need to get a clear picture to ensure a smooth transition to following the rules.

Announcing the plan to apply for a license by March 31 is super important. It shows that businesses are committed to following the rules and starts a timeline they need to stick to. The final deadline for finishing the application process is November 30, underlining the urgency and the need to respond quickly.

These deadlines are not random; they’re set up to give businesses a reasonable time to follow the rules while keeping everything in line with what the regulators want.

Understanding the practical side of the application process is crucial. Insights from experts, like Carola Rathke from Eversheds Sutherland Germany, can be really helpful. Rathke’s thoughts can give a deeper understanding of the details, possible challenges, and the best ways to have a successful application.

Sharing such insights helps businesses know how to deal with the complexities of getting a license effectively.

Applying for a License and Deadlines

Following AMLD5 Directive:

One big reason behind Germany’s rules for cryptocurrency custody is to align with the European Union’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5). This directive is all about stopping money laundering and terrorism financing, making the rules tougher in the cryptocurrency world.

To follow the German rules, businesses need to understand how they connect with AMLD5.

The response to AMLD5 shows that German authorities are serious about making sure Cryptocurrency Custody businesses follow strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) steps. Companies in Germany’s crypto space must show they are following these steps, in line with what the EU directive wants. This focus on being open and reducing risks is meant to create a safer and more responsible cryptocurrency world.

In short, the connection between Germany’s rules for cryptocurrency custody and the AMLD5 directive is a big effort to create rules that stop illegal money activities and support the legal growth of the cryptocurrency industry. Businesses need to not just understand this link but also include these stricter steps in their day-to-day work to stay viable in the German market.

Challenges and Industry Response

When Germany introduced rules for keeping people’s cryptocurrencies safe, the industry had different reactions. Some companies liked the clear rules, while others found it tough to follow. Businesses are dealing with the challenge of meeting strict deadlines, following new rules, and changing how they work.

Even with these challenges, some companies see this as a chance to build trust in the cryptocurrency market.

Comparing with Bitcoin’s Rules

Looking at the rules for cryptocurrency custody in Germany and comparing them with how Bitcoin works is interesting. Germany wants clear rules, but Bitcoin is all about being decentralized and not linked to real identities.

This shows that different parts of the cryptocurrency world have different rules. Germany focuses on following rules, while Bitcoin sticks to its unique way, creating a tension between what rules want and how certain cryptocurrencies work. Understanding these differences is important for businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies globally.

Cryptocurrency Custody


In short, the changing rules for cryptocurrencies in Germany bring both challenges and chances for the industry. Companies are adapting, but they need to follow the rules to do well in this new setup. As businesses work to meet the rules, the future of Cryptocurrency Custody rules in Germany is still changing.

Being proactive and clear about what they do not only helps companies follow the rules but also keeps the cryptocurrency industry growing and stable in Germany. In the next few months, we’ll likely see more clarity and changes, shaping how businesses deal with digital assets in Germany.

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What is cryptocurrency custody?

Cryptocurrency custody involves securely storing and managing digital assets on behalf of users. Custodians ensure the safekeeping of private keys, protecting assets from theft or loss.

Why is Germany introducing new cryptocurrency regulations?

Germany is implementing new regulations to align with the EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5). These regulations aim to enhance transparency and combat illicit financial activities within the cryptocurrency sector.

How do businesses qualify for the grandfathering mechanism under the new German law?

Businesses qualify for the grandfathering mechanism by already custodying digital assets for Germans before the law’s effective date (Jan. 1). They need to announce their intent to apply for a license by March 31 and complete the application process by Nov. 30.

What challenges do businesses face in complying with the new regulations?

Challenges include meeting tight deadlines for license applications, implementing enhanced KYC and AML procedures, and adapting existing operational models to align with the regulatory requirements.

How does Germany’s regulatory approach to cryptocurrency custody compare to Bitcoin’s nature?

Germany’s regulatory approach emphasizes oversight and compliance, contrasting with the decentralized and pseudonymous nature of Bitcoin. This comparison highlights the diverse regulatory landscape within the broader cryptocurrency space.