Bitstamp in talks with European Banks to offer crypto services
European crypto exchange Bitstamp is engaged in discussions with three big European banks around the introduction of cryptocurrency services by the start of the next year.
Robert Zagotta, Bitstamp’s global chief commercial officer based in Luxembourg and CEO of its U.S. division revealed this during an interview with CoinDesk. The move indicates a trend within the European Union where the crypto regulatory initiative, known as Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), is paving a more straightforward path for traditional financial institutions to immerse themselves in the realm of digital assets.
Zagotta also revealed that their “Bitstamp-as-a-service” offering has seen a surge in interest, especially within European circles. This service provides a white-label licensing framework, combined with the necessary technology, to help banks and fintech institutions in facilitating cryptocurrency transactions for their clientele.
“In the last six to nine months, we’ve had quite an increase in inbound inquiries about this offering from large European banks. We are in advanced conversations with three such banks, household name banks in Europe. I think first quarter-ish we will be able to announce,” Zagotta added.
The partnership between Bitstamp and these European banks, if finalized, could signal a pivotal shift in how traditional banking institutions in the EU approach and integrate digital asset services for their customers. Overall, the welcoming stance in Europe presents a sharp deviation from the current regulatory landscape in the U.S., where authorities are becoming more stringent. The tighter grip on regulations in the U.S. has left crypto and mainstream firms in a state of hesitancy towards digital assets.
Bitstamp itself discontinued its Ethereum (ETH) staking services for customers in the United States starting from September 25. The decision, which doesn’t affect the already staked cryptos, follows the regulatory requirements imposed by several states, which restrict staking services offered to retail users. It comes as a response to the regulatory landscape in the country, particularly the actions of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
At the moment, the Bitstamp platform allows for the staking of Ethereum and Algorand and pays rewards of up to 5% annually. This set of assets, according to Bitstamp, must be compliant with jurisdictional regulations and local laws, as well as strict technical, safety, and compliance reviews.
A month earlier, Bitstamp suspended trading for a selection of high-market-value altcoins. This list includes Axie Infinity (AXS), Chiliz (CHZ), Decentraland (MANA), Polygon (MATIC), NEAR Protocol (NEAR), The Sandbox (SAND), and Solana (SOL).