This article was originally published here.
Whilst the likes of Japan and the US are continuously in the news, making steady and significant progress in the crypto market, most of Europe has been surprisingly serene and low key.
There is the odd Malta or Ukraine, however as a whole, most of Europe, while interested in the blockchain has made little effort to seriously woo crypto enthusiasts, until now.
Europe is a large potential market, with many surveys showing the high crypto awareness amongst the populace. However, this has not translated into active participation. This is primarily due to the lack of clarity and the myriad regulatory hurdles that have to be navigated through both at the national as well as the European block level.
Now, loosening banking restrictions coupled with innovative risks by startups is looking to change all this. Even in the bear market, many in Europe see the clear potential and governments are trying to make business interactions as seamless as possible.
Rise Of Fintech In Germany
Germany has been a powerhouse of European innovation and industry. The second largest stock exchange in Germany, the Stuttgart Exchange Group is now set to team up with the banking institute, SolarisBank, to create the necessary infrastructure for a zero-fee crypto exchange.
The platform is expected to be live in early 2019. This comes close at the heels of Bitwala, a cryptocurrency payments startup claiming to be the first crypto banking solution in Europe, was recently allowed to operate in Germany. Interestingly it too has partnered with SolarisBank.
It appears this accelerated access has been made possible by the local fintech start-up, which has a banking license and is fully regulated by the German financial regulatory authority Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and the European Central Bank (ECB).
ETP Offerings In Switzerland
In the heart of Europe, Switzerland has made giant strides recently. It has offered the worlds first crypto-based exchange-traded product (ETP). This pioneering move involves the listing of a crypto-based ETP by the nations premier exchange, the SIX exchange.
In doing so Switzerland has ended the long wait and beaten everyone to the punch. While the American SEC is still working out the details, the Swiss Exchange has already started volume trade on the crypto pair.
Trading Innovation In Sweden
Keeping up the renaissance of innovative ideas, the nordic county of Sweden has also been working to allow foreign investment in cryptocurrencies. The Stockholm stock exchange has, for the past few months been allowing Bitcoin exchange-traded note (ETN).
Since August this year, their Nasdaq Stockholm has launched a new overseas-listed instrument. This allows the U.S. investors to securely conduct their trading and investing in bitcoin. With a U.S. dollar-denominated version, it is now capable of offering international interactions to the American investors.
The quaint world old world has always been a hotbed of ideas and innovation. However, market uncertainty has certainly stratified the growth potential that might have otherwise prevailed. In having said that, as the European governments better understand the crypto verse, improved regulations will follow and, undoubtedly, lead to more participation from the continent as a whole.