Trade Republic launches cryptocurrencies in Austria

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 neobroker is starting today, Tuesday, with crypto assets for its Austrian users. At launch, 52 of the main coins and tokens are available. To bring the offer to Austria, Trade Republic has obtained the necessary authorization from the Financial Market Authority (FMA) as a virtual currency service provider and has established its own Austrian subsidiary, Trade Republic Custody GmbH.

Trade Republic relies on Bankhaus Scheich of Frankfurt for the purchase and sale of crypto assets and for the technical implementation of software solutions from the crypto unicorn Fireblocks. This is also a partner of the neobank Revolut, which has also been selling cryptoassets to its customers for some time. When it comes to fees, Trade Republic relies on its existing structure and charges a flat rate of one euro per trading – this is already known from stocks or ETFs.

Just last week Vienna-based Bitpanda launched a major assault 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 on Bitpanda’s home market. While Berlin-based N26 chose Bitpanda as its technical white-label partner for cryptoassets, Trade Republic relies on Fireblocks – as does N26’s competitor Revolut.

With ETF savings schemes against the impending pension gap

In an interview, Oswald Salcher, Austria head of the German neo-broker, explains in detail how investing in crypto assets at Trade Republic works and what special features there are:

Trending Topics: Which cryptos are included, or better said – which ones are intentionally not?

We currently offer 52 coins. We look at which currency has a sufficient market capitalization and volume. The projects should also share our faith in the crypto market. For example, despite its size, we did not include Dogecoin. We currently feel comfortable with the crypto offering and list the essential coins. But we are also gradually expanding the range. 48 of the 52 coins are also eligible for a savings plan (these are not: AMP, DOT, SOL and UMA).

How and where are the user keys stored?

To ensure the highest security standards in the custody of customers’ crypto assets, Trade Republic has established its own custodian bank: its own company Trade Republic Custody GmbH (TRC) in Vienna. The cryptocurrencies are stored using the infrastructure and software of the partner Fireblocks at TRC in both hot and cold wallets.

They are designed as a collective wallet (“omnibus wallet”) and the cryptocurrencies are all legally owned by the customer, which is documented in the custody agreement that TRC enters into with users. The security in hot wallets is based on the so-called “MPC cryptography”, which is often referred to as the most secure way to secure a hot wallet.

Is it a one-way street like N26 – or can you send the cryptos out of the app to other wallets?

No, that is not possible. At Trade Republic, customers buy real cryptos, which are however stored by TRC GmbH. This means that the purchased cryptos cannot be transferred to a personal, external wallet.

What fees/costs are incurred or what does the business model for TR look like with crypto?

The cost of crypto trading is 1 euro per trade. There are no additional costs.

How/where do you buy the cryptos or what partners do you have?

The main trading partner for crypto traders is the BaFin-regulated institution “Bankhaus Scheich Wertpapierspecialist AG” based in Frankfurt am Main.

Do you want to offer more crypto services, e.g. staking at DeFi?

Currently not.

How is the market environment after the FTX crash? Why start crypto now?

Cryptos have become an in-demand asset class in recent years and can offer new opportunities 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 represent an interesting entry opportunity.

Trade Republic is committed to making capital markets accessible to all. By enabling our customers to trade and store cryptos through our app, in addition to stocks, ETFs and derivatives, the company is taking the next step towards democratizing access to the financial world.

In Germany, our clients have been able to invest in cryptos since April 2021. This offer has now also been requested by many of our clients in other markets. As part of the ongoing 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 a while before we were also able to offer Cryptos to our Austrian customers.

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