They have been around for a long time at Bitpanda, N26, Scalable Capital and many other neo-brokers and crypto exchanges – now they are also available at Trade Republic in Austria. As previously announced, the Berlin-based neo-broker starts today, Tuesday, with crypto assets for its Austrian users. Initially, 52 of the most important coins and tokens are available. In order to offer the offer in Austria, Trade Republic has obtained the necessary license from the Financial Market Authority (FMA) as a virtual currency service provider and has established its own Austrian subsidiary, namely Trade Republic Custody GmbH.
Trade Republic relies on Bankhaus Scheich from Frankfurt for the purchase and sale of crypto assets, as well as for the technical implementation of the software solutions of the crypto unicorn Fireblocks. It is also a partner of neobank Revolut, which has also been selling crypto assets to its clients for some time. Regarding fees, Trade Republic relies on its existing structure and charges a fixed price of one euro per transaction – this is already known from stocks or ETFs.
Just last week, Bitpanda from Vienna launched a major attack on the German market with a new Bafin license and can now officially market it there. In return, Trade Republic is now starting its core business in Bitpanda’s home market. While Berlin-based N26 has chosen Bitpanda as its white-label technical partner for crypto assets, Trade Republic relies on Fireblocks – as does N26 competitor Revolut.
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In an interview, Oswald Salcher, Austrian boss of the German neo-broker, explains in detail how the investment in cryptographic assets works at Trade Republic and what are its particularities:
Trending Topics: Which cryptos are included, or better said – which are intentionally not included?
We currently offer 52 pieces. We look at which currency has sufficient market capitalization and volume. Additionally, projects should share our belief in the crypto market. For example, despite its size, we have not included Dogecoin. We currently feel comfortable with the crypto offering and list the essential coins. But we are also gradually expanding the offer. 48 of the 52 coins are also eligible for a savings plan (these are not: AMP, DOT, SOL and UMA).
How and where are user keys stored?
In order to ensure the highest security standards when storing clients’ crypto assets, Trade Republic has established its own custodian: its own company, Trade Republic Custody GmbH (TRC) in Vienna. Cryptocurrencies are stored using TRC’s Fireblocks partner infrastructure and software in hot and cold wallets.
They are designed as a collective wallet (“omnibus wallet”) and the cryptocurrencies are all legally owned by the client, which is documented in the custodial agreement that TRC enters into with the users. The security of hot wallets is based on the so-called “MPC cryptography”, which is often considered the safest way to secure a hot wallet.
Is it a one-way street like N26 – or can you send cryptos from the app to other wallets?
No, that’s not possible. At Trade Republic, customers buy real cryptos, which are however kept by TRC GmbH. This means that purchased cryptos cannot be transferred to a personal external wallet.
What fees/costs are incurred, or what is TR’s business model like with crypto?
Crypto trading costs are 1 euro per transaction. There are no additional costs.
How/where do you buy the cryptos, or what partners do you have?
The main trading partner for crypto transactions is the BaFin-regulated institute “Bankhaus Scheich Wertpapierspecialist AG” based in Frankfurt am Main.
Do you offer more crypto services, for example staking at DeFi?
How is the market environment after the FTX crash? Why start with crypto now?
Cryptos have become a sought-after asset class in recent years and can offer new options for broad investment strategies. We see that our customers are increasingly informed and want to take advantage of this opportunity. As with other investments, falling prices can also present an attractive entry opportunity here.
Trade Republic is committed to making capital markets accessible to everyone. By allowing our customers to trade and save crypto through our app, in addition to stocks, ETFs and derivatives, the company is taking another step towards democratizing access to the financial world.
In Germany, our clients can invest in crypto since April 2021. This offer has also been requested by many of our clients in other markets. As part of the continuous expansion of our product range, we strive to have the same range in all our markets as in Germany. Due to strict regulations and technical implications, it took some time before we could also offer Cryptos to our Austrian customers.
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