European Union (EU) banks have been cautious in their approach to cryptocurrencies so far, but with new legislation on the horizon, the landscape may be changing. In a recent announcement, Bitpanda, a cryptocurrency exchange, and a Vienna-based unit of Raiffeisen Bank revealed they are collaborating to offer crypto to the bank’s customers.
According to a statement released on Wednesday, the two parties have signed a letter of intent to work together, and they plan to complete their evaluation of the partnership by the end of the year. Raiffeisenlandesbank NÖ-Wien, which oversees the bank’s operations in the Austrian capital and surrounding area, said the goal of the collaboration is to provide customers with an innovative and secure way to accumulate wealth.
Michael Höllerer, the general director of Raiffeisenlandesbank NÖ-Wien, said in the statement, “Examination of the partnership with Bitpanda aims to add an innovative, secure aspect to our product range and to enable all customers to easily accumulate wealth.”
Despite the potential benefits, EU banks have been slow to embrace cryptocurrencies. In fact, a survey released by the European Central Bank in February indicated that crypto activities among lenders were “insignificant,” and the underlying distributed ledger technology was “barely used.”
However, with the introduction of new regulations, the tide may be turning, and banks may be more willing to explore the possibilities that cryptocurrencies can offer. The partnership between Bitpanda and Raiffeisen Bank’s Vienna-based unit may be an indication that more collaborations between traditional financial institutions and crypto companies are on the horizon.