Jane Grinblat

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The German regulatory practice has been to treat bitcoin as a unit of account and thus a financial instrument. Consequently, commercial services involving bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (including trading, brokerage, operating exchanges, investment advisory ) are regulated activities, requiring the relevant authorisation of Germany’s Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, or BaFin). On 25 September 2018 the Higher Regional Court of Berlin decided that bitcoin is not a financial instrument and that the operation of…
Unlike in most other European jurisdictions the regulatory practice in Germany has been to treat Bitcoins as units of account and as such financial instruments pursuant to Section 1 German Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz, “KWG”). The practical consequence of this is that most commercial services surrounding Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies (including trading, brokerage, operating exchanges, investment advisory etc.) will be regulated activities, requiring the relevant authorisation (licence) of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht,…