Estonia's largest bank allows crypto trading

Harbour of Tallinn, Estonia. Photo: Getty
Harbour of Tallinn, Estonia. Photo: Getty

Estonia's largest bank LHV (LHV1T.TL) will allow customers to trade crypto through its app from next week, the bank announced on Tuesday.

Users will be able to trade major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum and chainlink directly on the app via crypto exchange Bitstamp.

The app will show customers' crypto assets and allow them to manage them alongside their other investments. It will also offer pre-filled tax forms to people so they can declare crypto transactions quickly and correctly.

Initially, customers will be able to buy and sell eight selected major cryptocurrencies at market prices — bitcoin (BTC-USD), ethereum (ETH-USD), litecoin (LTC-USD), uniswap (UNI3-USD), chainlink (LINK-USD), stellar lumens (XLM-USD), polygon (MATIC-USD) and aave (AAVE-USD).

Watch: 5 Tips for Investing in Crypto

"In the near future, we plan to add new instruments, order types and other solutions for more convenient trading. In the longer term, we will closely monitor the development of blockchain solutions in the world and, if the right opportunity arises, we are certainly ready to take the next step towards offering blockchain solutions," said Martin Mets, head of retail Sales, channels and investment Services at LHV.

Transactions will be carried out on the Bitstamp crypto exchange, which is one of the five largest licensed crypto exchanges in the world. Customers' crypto assets will be securely held on the BitGo platform, part of the Galaxy Digital Group (GLXY.TO).

"We have been interested in blockchain technology for a long time – already in 2015, we experimented with one of the world’s first stablecoin-like solutions, the LHV Cuber platform," said Madis Toomsalu, chairman of the management board of LHV Group.

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"In the meantime, we have been waiting for the regulatory environment to evolve, for the market to become organised, and for professional market players to emerge.

"Crypto assets have become a large field in terms of both market value as well as turnovers based on decentralised financial services. We believe that the strengths of blockchain-based solutions in terms of speed, efficiency and security are increasingly being demonstrated.

"We will be the first bank in the Baltics to start offering crypto trading to our clients – as the first step, they will be able to buy and sell crypto assets on the LHV mobile app."

"Considering the increasingly mature level of development of crypto assets and their rapidly growing popularity as a new asset class, we are ready to add this asset class to the range of products offered to LHV bank clients," said Mets.

"This is clearly a very volatile and high-risk asset class, but for a risk-conscious client, crypto assets can play an important role in the portfolio."

Earlier in November, Australia's Commonwealth Bank started to give clients the option of trading crypto currencies on its banking app.

Marcus Sotiriou, sales trader at UK based digital asset broker GlobalBlock said: "The LHV news is significant because it shows that the cryptocurrency industry is a global movement and gives weight to the argument that at some point every bank in the world will need to integrate crypto.

"This news has fuelled a bounce in the price of bitcoin which is currently trading at $57,000... but still currently in a downtrend. If bitcoin can break above the $60,000 level that would confirm a double bottom pattern which is a bullish signal and could result in the short term to new all-time-highs."

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