Bafin has opened investigations against against Crypto.com that may have directed its offering to customers in Germany without sufficient permission. Meanwhile, Crypto.com is withdrawing from the German market.
Even though Bafin‘s investigation is still in its early stages, the Singapore-based crypto exchange already began withdrawing from the German market. The app is no longer available in German, according to the report.
Crypto.com touts more than 80 million users worldwide and regulatory compliance on its website.
In February 2022, Bafin announced it would investigate the case. As Finance Forward reported, Crypto.com had launched on the German market without an appropriate license.
According to the report, although talks took place in 2021 about cooperation between Crypto.com and financial services provider CM-Equity, it is still being determined how active the partnership was. It said CM-Equity had registered Crypto.com as a contractually bound intermediary with Bafin but had never had any contact with Crypto.com customers.
“We had a relationship with CM-Equity, and this relationship was properly documented at the time,” Crypto.com said it had “acquired all customers in the European Economic Area, including those residing in Germany, through our licensed and authorized companies.”
Financial services companies are subject to licensing in Germany. That’s why, for example, German bank N26 works with Austria’s Bitpanda, which has had a license from Bafin since November 2022, for its cryptocurrency purchasing service.
In March 2023, Bafin initiated investigations against Uniswap. The provider is said to have specifically advertised its cryptocurrency wallet for mobile devices to customers in Germany without the corresponding license.
Golem.de has asked both Crypto.com and Bafin for a statement.