N26, a German online bank, has announced that its customers will be able to trade bitcoin this year. Max Tayenthal, the bank’s co-founder and one of its current CEOs, recently issued an announcement emphasizing the need for a global platform. Tayenthal also discussed the bank’s possible oversights in ignoring cryptocurrency last year.
According to the Financial Times, the executive said:
“Should we have built trading and crypto instead of launching in the US? In hindsight, it might have been a smart idea.”
Before introducing these services, N26, a bank with more than 7 million customers as of January 2021, decided to expand to the United Kingdom and the United States. They did, however, leave the United Kingdom last year and are currently shutting their activities in the United States.
This is due to a policy shift, according to Tayenthal, who saw the bank was “spreading itself too thinly” and that there were “so many other things to do instead of raising flags in new markets.”
While the bank has been profitable, with a market capitalization of €7.8 billion ($8.8 billion) last year, it has been under regulatory scrutiny from Bafin, Germany’s fintech regulator. The company experienced issues with AML compliance, according to the institution.
This is why the German authority imposed a monthly limit on the number of consumers N26 could accept. Only 50K consumers can sign up right now to take advantage of the company’s skills and services. Bafin dispatched two representatives to monitor and report on the company’s progress. Tayenthal was hopeful that N26 will be able to work with regulators to lift the cap that is limiting the company’s expansion. Last year, the business added an average of 170,000 new customers every month until the quota was imposed. In response, Tayenthal stated:
“We have a plan. We have an understanding of what needs to be done and we are able to execute [it].”