The trend of banking institutions embracing cryptocurrencies continues, as one of Germany’s largest banking groups is set to introduce crypto trading services to its customers this year.

This cooperative financial group, consisting of over 700 local banks, a central bank, specialized service providers, and institutions, is preparing to enter the pilot phase of its crypto trading project, according to a Bloomberg report.

The central bank overseeing this initiative, DZ Bank, will lead the way for the cooperative financial network. Souad Benkredda, responsible for capital market operations on the central bank board, revealed that primary banks will soon conduct test trading of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), with customers.

Benkredda emphasized the group’s intention to offer a variety of cryptocurrencies for trading, stating, “We don’t just want to offer trading of one cryptocurrency, but a variety of cryptocurrencies. This is important to us.”

Initially, DZ Bank had planned to collaborate with Deutsche WertpapierService Bank AG (DWP Bank), a securities service provider, to implement the project. However, the partnership with DWP Bank has been canceled, and DZ Bank now has a new undisclosed partner.

The new trading services will empower customers to make independent decisions in trading crypto assets, without advisory services. According to Benkredda, there is strong demand for such services among cooperative banks, with a study by the Geno Association revealing that every second bank in the group wishes to provide this solution to its customers. However, individual institutions must make their own decisions on whether to offer crypto trading.

In contrast, German savings banks have taken a more cautious approach, with their committees advising banks in the association to refrain from offering crypto trading services to their customers.

This move by the cooperative financial group comes approximately a year after DZ Bank partnered with Swiss firm Metaco and orchestration platform Harmonize to offer digital asset custody services to institutional clients. DZ Bank selected the platform for its offering following an extensive proof-of-concept and diligence process, finding it to be a reliable solution.

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