Raiffeisen Bank to Launch Crypto Investment Service

In a recent announcement, the Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederosterreich-Wien (RLB NO-Wien) detailed its intentions to foray into the realm of bitcoin investing services. The Austrian cooperative banking institution, which was established in 1900 and now has a 22.6% interest in Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), has decided to launch its new service in collaboration with the Austrian cryptocurrency startup Bitpanda.

Customers of RLB NO-Wien will be able to invest in a variety of assets, including digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ether, thanks to the launch of a new crypto investing service. Customers will also continue to have access to investment services for equities, exchange-traded funds, precious metals, and commodities. The software as a service (SaaS) product that Bitpanda has will be the vehicle through which the service will be delivered.

The Chief Executive Officer of RLB NO-Wien, Michael Hollerer, said that the purpose of the relationship with Bitpanda is to broaden their product offering by including a cutting-edge, risk-free component that would make it simpler for all consumers to amass money. By the end of the year, Bitpanda’s technological infrastructure will have been swiftly and securely linked, making possible the availability of trading.

The new service will also include Bitpanda’s whole inventory of digital assets, which totals over 2,500 different assets and consists of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether. Customers will have the ability to invest in a wide variety of assets, notwithstanding the amount of cash that is now accessible, with investments possible to begin with as little as one euro.

The expansion of Raiffeisen Bank International into the realm of digital currency development includes a move into the provision of investment services for cryptocurrencies. In the year 2020, the bank was in the process of constructing a platform for the tokenization of the national currency utilizing blockchain technology. In addition to this, the bank is well-known for its involvement in trade financing pilot projects leveraging R3’s Marco Polo blockchain network.

In general, the collaboration between RLB NO-Wien and Bitpanda sheds light on the expanding interest that conventional financial institutions have in the provision of bitcoin investment services. It is possible that we will witness a surge in the adoption and public acceptance of digital assets as more financial institutions join the bitcoin industry.


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Bitpanda is Germany’s first “European retail” crypto platform.

The news that Bitpanda has secured a cryptocurrency custody license from the German financial organization known as BaFin was published in a post on the company’s official blog, where the announcement was made.

Following the acquisition of this license, the cryptocurrency exchange that maintains its headquarters in Austria is now legally authorized to market its services to individuals who are located in Germany.

In addition to this, Bitpanda said that they were the first retail bitcoin exchange to be founded in Europe to achieve this particular distinction.

As a direct consequence of the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, people are paying more attention to cryptocurrency exchanges that do not have any rules and operate outside of a country’s jurisdiction.

Because of this, a significant number of exchangers are working toward obtaining licenses in various nations so that they can provide evidence that they are a trustworthy business.

Bitpanda is now legally regulated in the country of Sweden, joining the ranks of other countries like as Austria, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Spain. The number of nations in which Bitpanda is legally regulated has increased with the acquisition of this new license.

In the bitcoin sector, there were already four other businesses that have the license before Coinbase, Kapilendo, Tangany, and Upvest were able to secure it for themselves.

Bitpanda claims that it is the first “European” retail bitcoin platform to acquire the license since its headquarters are located in Austria. This is because Austria is considered to be part of Europe.

Since the collapse of FTX, the subject of how to give licenses to and otherwise govern cryptocurrency exchanges has been at the forefront of public conversation. Specifically, the question is whether or not cryptocurrency exchanges should be licensed at all.

According to Jon Cunliffe, who is the deputy governor of the Bank of England, the BoE plans to set up a “regulatory sandbox” in order to establish how to successfully supervise exchanges in order to discover how to properly oversee exchanges. In addition, the Senate of the United States has started conducting hearings to study efficient methods to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges. These hearings are being held as part of an ongoing investigation.


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Crypto Investment Platform Bitpanda Launches Commodities Trading

Bitpanda announced Monday that it has added commodities trading to its investment platform to enable its users to trade oil, natural gas, aluminium, and wheat.

The new asset class is set to allow investors to benefit from short-term price movements of commodities such as oil, natural gas, aluminium, wheat, and more.

As per the announcement, users will now involve in commodities trading on the Bitpanda platform, 24/7, starting from as little as 1 Euro, alongside a range of digital assets like cryptocurrencies, crypto indices, stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), precious metals, among others.

Historically commodities have tended to move independently of stocks and bonds, thus making them a great way to diversify portfolios. They can also protect investors against inflation – when prices at grocery stores go up, commodity prices also go up.

Eric Demuth, co-founder and CEO of Bitpanda, talked about the development: “since we first started Bitpanda, our mission has always been to remove the barriers to entry and enable people to access financial markets in a simple and secure way. I’m excited we’ve been able to add commodities to the platform at a time when inflation is biting into people’s savings. Bitpanda customers can now bet against their gas bill and benefit from the short-term price movements of key commodities like oil, natural gas, corn, wheat and many more.”

According to the Austria-based cryptocurrency trading platform, users can buy, sell, or swap commodities just like any other digital asset on the platform.

The platform already offers digitized versions of precious metals like gold, platinum, and silver, as part of its portfolio on its trading platform.

Expanding Financial Access to Users

BitPanda allows retail investors to invest in various products, including cryptocurrency, stocks, and precious metals, among others.

The latest development is part of efforts by the company to continue expanding its investment platform.

In October last year, BitPanda appointed a former executive at JPMorgan, Joshua Barraclough, to lead a new division in the platform – BitPanda Pro, a platform targeting fulfilling the needs of experienced traders and institutional investors.  

In July this year, Bitpanda launched more than four crypto indices for investors, providing more options by helping them to diversify their portfolios.

The firm designed the launches to simplify investment in different crypto projects, such as the metaverse, decentralized finance (DeFi), smart contracts, and infrastructure through new automated crypto indices.

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Bitpanda Launches New Crypto Indices for Long-Term Diversified Portfolios

Bitpanda, a digital investment platform, rolled out at least four crypto indices for investors, providing more options by helping them to diversify their portfolios.

The company seeks to simplify investment in different cryptocurrency projects, such as the metaverse, decentralized finance (DeFi), smart contracts, and infrastructure through new automated crypto indices. 

Through the Bitpanda Crypto Indices, the platform intends to take away the complexities of investing in the cryptocurrency markets by offering users a hands-off approach. 

Eric Demuth, the CEO and co-founder of Bitpanda, said:

“We launched Bitpanda Crypto Indices as a game changer for all people interested in crypto, especially newer investors who didn’t know where to start building their crypto portfolios.”

Initially, Bitpanda established three crypto index products in 2020 to auto-invest in the top 5 to 25 cryptocurrencies depending on popularity determined by liquidity and market size.

Therefore, the new crypto indices intend to render more investment opportunities in evolving spaces like the metaverse and DeFi. Demuth added:

“These four new crypto indices allow people to invest in areas they are passionate about. There’s no hassle, no need to constantly research new crypto projects, just a simple way for everyone to diversify their portfolios.” 

Therefore, Bitpanda sees the new crypto indices as a stepping stone toward offering investors long-term diversified portfolios by being able to purchase multiple assets in emerging areas. 

The firm also acknowledged that the crypto indices would be rebalanced monthly depending on liquidity and market size. 

Meanwhile, the Crypto Price Index (CPI) was touted as a game-changer in the cryptocurrency market, Blockchain.News reported. 

It was anticipated to function like the Dow Jones Industrial Average by offering insights into the trading history of the major blockchain projects. 

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BitPanda Lays off Hundreds of Employees, Citing Tough Market Conditions

BitPanda, a cryptocurrency trading platform based in Austria, announced on Friday that it will cut down the number of its headcounts to ensure sustainability. The firm said it will reduce the number of employees to about 730 from the more than 1000 it is currently stated to have on LinkedIn.

BitPanda’s founders said the company will let workers go as it scales down in response to changing market conditions.

While the founders cited the current crypto winter and wider global economic crisis, they also admitted their own failures:

“We reached a point where more people joining didn’t make us more effective, but created coordination overheads instead, particularly in this new market reality. Looking back now, we realize that our hiring speed was not sustainable. That was a mistake.”

BitPanda is also withdrawing some recent job offers and has notified the affected employees.

The company said it acknowledges the responsibility it has for its employees and their families. The firm stated it has put a top priority on supporting the affected workers to make a smooth transition to the next step in their careers.

“Affected employees will get packages that ‘go beyond’ employment law as well as one-on-one coaching with talent acquisition partners, references, and mental health support”, BitPanda said.

The announcement comes less than a year after BitPanda raised $263 million in a Series C funding round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. The funding round gave the firm a fresh valuation of $4.1 billion.

BitPanda is the latest to follow several other cryptocurrency outfits that recently announced intentions to decrease their headcounts and trim down job offers in order to survive a downturn in the crypto market and the wider global economy.

Last week, Coinbase laid off 18% of its workers and froze hiring sprees as the market crashed.

Also, more than a week ago, Singapore-based exchange Crypto.com cut off 260 jobs to ensure it stays on track with its profitability goals for the long term. Gemini exchange also recently announced a reduction of about 10% of its workforce to address the current, difficult market conditions that are likely to persist for some time.

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FCA Warns Companies on Crypto Mergers

The crypto market in the UK received a warning from the financial watchdog following an acquisition announcement by Bitpanda.

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The EU regulated Austrian exchange announced that it would buy DeFi custodian Trustology, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) through the Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) register.

The acquisition is reportedly the first of its kind in the UK market.

Bitpanda’s move is also a first step towards transforming its Bitpanda Pro platform into a fully-fledged prime brokerage business.

However, shortly after the announcement, the FCA said that existing regulations for crypto firms do not include provisions.

It allows the watchdog to assess how well new owners meet its requirements if a regulated firm is bought out. 

“The FCA can take steps to suspend or cancel the registration of a crypto asset business if it is not satisfied the firm or its beneficial owner is fit and proper,” it said. 

While the FCA’s other regimes include the powers to supervise, authorize or enforce against firms operating in the UK.

The FCA also went on to further add that it could suspend or cancel a firm’s crypto-asset registration for various reasons, including where a firm has not complied with obligations under MLRs.

However, a spokesperson for Bitpanda said that Trustology and the company are “confident that no issues with the acquisition will arise.”

“We have a very good working relationship with the FCA who was informed of that transaction well in advance and the FCA statement was in accordance with Bitpanda’s expectations,” they said.

Currently, there is prolonged wrangling between crypto firms operating in the UK and regulators, as the deadline to be included on the FCA’s crypto assets register by the 31st March looms ever nearer. 

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French Payment App Lydia Offers Digital Assets Trading Services

French payment processing app Lydia has now integrated support for digital assets trading on its platform.

Through the partnership, as many as 5.5 million Lydia customers will now be able to buy and sell digital assets like stocks, fractionalized stocks, bonds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), and ultimately cryptocurrenciesAccording to the firm, the support was made possible with the integration with Bitpanda, the Austrian unicorn digital asset brokerage.

The Lydia app looks to set up a precedent for related diverse offerings in the United Kingdom in competition to American payment giants, including Cash App, Paypal, and Robinhood.

The company said the  trading approach is licensed and being described as one of the most accessible apps for onboarding new users.

“If you want to buy assets right now, it’s too complicated,” Lydia co-founder and CEO Cyril Chiche told me. “Even just accessing those markets is complicated. It takes you several days to register and verify your account. After that, you have to send money. And then, there are minimum amounts.” 

Chiche said the Lydia approach is different as users will be able to connect to the trading app through their existing accounts. Unregistered users will be able to communicate in a few simple taps. The collaboration with Bitpanda showcases the ability of crypto-focused firms to form mutually beneficial business relationships. This trend is essential to drive the mainstream adoption of the crypto industry.

Bitpanda’s integration with Lydia is considered a pioneering attempt by the Austrian digital asset exchange to help legacy fintech firms kickstart their trading journeys. The firm said it has secured a license with the French financial regulator, the AMF, and is looking to solidify its business presence in the European nation.

It is becoming a common occurrence for payments firms to embrace cryptocurrencies. Cash App, Paypal, and Venmo are amongst the common names that come to mind, as major industry players are looking for ways to gain a good market share in the fast-growing cryptocurrency industry.

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Crypto Trading Platform BitPanda Hires Former JPMorgan Executive Joshua Barraclough as CEO

European-based cryptocurrency trading platform BitPanda has hired a former executive at JPMorgan to lead a division in the leading platform – BitPanda Pro, a platform targeting to fulfil the needs of experienced traders and institutional investors.   

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BitPanda, a cryptocurrency trading platform based in Vienna, Austria, announced on Thursday, October 28, that it named JPMorgan executive Joshua Barraclough as the Chief Executive Officer of its fully-regulated digital assets exchange BitPanda Pro.

Before Barraclough moved to the crypto sector, he served as the global head of the fintech team at JPMorgan. He served as co-head of digital innovation at the investment bank, responsible for creating new products and businesses.  

He talked about his departure from JPMorgan to join BitPanda, saying that the move was an easy decision. He mentioned: “The crypto ecosystem is the most exciting part of that right now, with an incredible pace of change and growth in adoption. We want further to bridge the gap between digital assets and traditional finance, building on my prior experience.”

Barraclough will now lead BitPanda Pro, which targets experienced traders, professionals, and institutions. According to a press statement, the platform has witnessed average daily trading volume rise four times in the first half of 2012.

BitPanda allows retail investors to invest in various products, including cryptocurrency, stocks, precious metals, among others.

BitPanda Pro, an advanced and European Union-wide regulated version of the main platform, is yet to add digitized versions of precious metals like gold, platinum, and silver as part of its portfolio on its trading platform.    

Barraclough said that the exchange is “actively looking at offering even more traditional assets other than gold and silver, using blockchain technology and tokenization to facilitate this.”  

Barraclough acknowledged that cryptocurrency is getting traction as the first investment asset for younger digital natives and “acts as a gateway to further financial education, building wealth through a diversified portfolio.”

He further talked about the rising adoption of cryptocurrencies and the inflow of new institutional funds. He stated: “This wave of institutional investment, unaffected by many of the regulatory worries of the last bull run, has proven the viability of Bitcoin (BTC) as a secure store of value and inflation hedge.”

Barraclough is the latest in a series of high-profile hires for the rapidly-growing fintech firm. Last month, BitPanda hired Irina Scarlat, a former Revolut executive, as its chief growth officer. In August, BitPanda hired former regulator Matthias Bauer- Langgartner as its managing director in Ireland and the UK.

In August, BitPanda achieved unicorn status after raising $263 million in a Valar Ventures-led series C round, funding that brought its total valuation to $4.1 billion. 

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Bitpanda taps former JP Morgan exec to lead fully-regulated crypto exchange

The crypto ecosystem picked yet another executive from traditional finance. Two months after raising $263 million, the Europe-based cryptocurrency trading platform Bitpanda announced that Joshua Barraclough, a former exec at JP Morgan, joined its ranks as the CEO of its fully-regulated digital asset exchange Bitpanda Pro. 

Before transitioning into the crypto world, Barraclough worked as the global head of the fintech team and then as the co-head of digital innovation at JP Morgan. Answering Cointelegraph’s questions about the transition, Barraclough said that leaving JP Morgan to join Bitpanda was an easy decision.

“I have always been at the bleeding edge of innovation, and my job at JP Morgan was to launch new businesses to challenge and transform traditional finance,” he said, adding:

“The crypto ecosystem is the most exciting part of that right now, with an incredible pace of change and growth in adoption. We want further to bridge the gap between digital assets and traditional finance, building on my prior experience.”

Barraclough reminded the skyrocketed crypto adoption and fresh institutional money. “This wave of institutional investment, unaffected by many of the regulatory worries of the last bull run, has proven the viability of Bitcoin (BTC) as a secure store of value and inflation hedge,” he explained.

He also pointed to the increasing interest in other Layer 1 protocols such as Solana and Avalanche and innovative DeFi applications. “Far from being the meme-fueled gamble that many still view it as, investors are treating cryptocurrencies in the same way as stocks and ETFs,” he added.

“Bitcoin is a $1 trillion asset and has seen the world’s biggest investors allocate significant portions of their portfolios to the currency. When the likes of JPMorgan and Blackrock are taking an investment seriously, it’s a sure sign that it’s here to stay.”

Speaking about cryptocurrencies’ role as a gateway to more traditional investments, Barraclough highlighted that crypto is gaining traction as the first investment asset for younger digital natives and “acts as a gateway to further financial education, building wealth through a diversified portfolio.”

Related: Unicorns in crypto: A growing herd of billion-dollar crypto companies

Bitpanda is known to offer digitized versions of precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum. This portfolio is yet to be added to Bitpanda Pro, an advanced and EU-wide regulated version of the main platform. Barraclough told Cointelegraph that the exchange is “actively looking at offering even more traditional assets other than gold and silver, using blockchain technology and tokenization to facilitate this.”

Bitpanda has secured $263 million in a Valar Ventures-led Series C round, bringing its total market value to $4.1 billion. Besides new hires, the company then announced that it would use the fresh capital to expand to new markets in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal.