Wikimedia no longer wants BTC, the Volksbank does

Two different news items regarding Bitcoin show how different the relationship to BTC is: While the Wikimedia Foundation announced 2 weeks after a vote in its community that it will no longer accept donations in cryptocurrencies in the future, Volksbank wants to get into the Bitcoin business. But first things first: The vote on Wikipedia was set in motion by long-time Wikipedian author Molly White. White is a crypto-critic who mainly denounces the negative effects of Bitcoin and Co. on the environment and the risk of fraud.

In addition, Wikimedia states that the amount of donations made in cryptocurrency is vanishingly small compared to other forms of payment – according to Wikimedia, $130,100.94 in cryptos last year, 0.08 per cent of total donations. But the last word does not seem to have been spoken, as the Wikimedia Foundation has announced its intention to monitor further developments. After all, there are enough efforts in the direction of green mining and sustainable coins…

Deutsche Volksbank as Bitcoin pioneer

While NPOs and NGOs can afford the environmentally friendly fig leaf, institutional investors and major banks see the situation more pragmatically: cryptocurrencies are a business – not only in terms of volume, but also with regard to the often young target groups that one risks losing without a corresponding product in the portfolio. And even if you apply for a crypto custody licence with BaFin – as Commerzbank did – you are only targeting institutional customers. Private customers are still left out of the equation at these banks.

The cooperative Volksbank Raiffeisenbank Bayern Mitte eG makes an exception here and addresses private crypto investors: It recently launched its own crypto offering and offers its 174,000 customers bitcoins for purchase, limiting itself exclusively to BTC. They are probably trying to serve a crypto-savvy but less experienced clientele with this well-known cryptocurrency. The reason given is the security aspect: “In our opinion, Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency that offers sufficient security against manipulation. All other cryptocurrencies are not comparable to Bitcoin, because they are not sufficiently decentralised,” says Andreas Streb, the bank’s deputy CEO.

Alternative investment instead of highly volatile speculation object

“We don’t want to expose our customers to the risk of getting involved with dubious providers, but rather offer added value as a reputable financial services provider with sound services,” says Streb. Of course, dubious providers also include the reputable crypto exchanges that have recently established themselves more and more on the market. Of course, it has been found that the average customer has a great need for advice: “In discussions with our members and customers, we have found that there is a great need for information about investing in Bitcoins. Since we want to be the first point of contact in all financial matters in the region, we are now offering a secure and practical solution for this,” says CEO Richard L. Riedmaier.

Bitcoin from the ATM

From July, Volksbank Raiffeisenbank Bayern Mitte eG also plans to set up a Bitcoin ATM for its customers at its main branch in Ingolstadt, where Euros can be exchanged for BTC. In addition to Commerzbank, which as mentioned only targets institutional customers (as do 24 other banking institutions that have applied to BaFin for a licence), the Sparkasse is also consulting on its position. “There will be a decision on this by the middle of the year,” explains Wiebke Schwarze, spokeswoman at the German Savings Banks Association (DSGV) in an interview with At the German savings banks, the regional principle also ultimately decides, whereby each institution can decide for itself what is offered to customers.

After years of prophecies of doom, we can see from the increasing involvement of hedge funds, major banks and regional cooperatives that the topic of cryptocurrencies is slowly but surely also reaching the end consumer sector and that no one wants to afford to do without the crypto business.

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