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Interview with Markus Strauch, Director Digital Assets & Trading at Bitpanda

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Interview with Markus Strauch, Director Digital Assets & Trading at Bitpanda (the first Austrian unicorn and client of CACEIS), by Gernot Wurzer, Head of Business Development Germany, Austria, Eastern Europe, CACEIS in Germany.

Can you give us a brief description of what Bitpanda does exactly in the field of securities or offers to its customers?

Markus Strauch - Director Digital Assets & Trading, Bitpanda Bitpanda has established itself as a leading neobroker and is regarded as the most regulated crypto provider in Europe. We offer both end-customers (B2C) as well as other professional market participants (B2B2C) a comprehensive platform for trading and investment in a wide range of financial products. Our offer includes over 350 cryptocurrencies, including a Europe-leading staking offering, over 2,250 Bitpanda-issued stocks/ETFs, derivatives and physical metals. Bitpanda has made a strong name for itself in the community for the highest standards of security for its customers' digital assets. The added value for our users lies in the high user-friendliness of our platform and the API, which allows easy access to different asset classes.

What were the main reasons for choosing CACEIS as a service partner?

We chose CACEIS as a partner for the settlement and custody of securities based on several essential decisive factors. The principal decisive factor for us was the flexibility in the provision of services and thus the readiness for tailor-made solutions. Another important aspect was the high level of expertise CACEIS has in the area of securities settlement. Your extensive experience and expertise in this specialised field ensures the efficiency and security of our securities transactions and contributes significantly to strengthening our offering to our customers. In addition, we have observed how CACEIS has developed an excellent reputation over the years, which is very important for us. Taken together, the combination of flexibility, expertise and reputation makes CACEIS the ideal partner in securities settlement and custody.

Neobrokers offer innovative services in this market. How do you see the future evolving in your sector?

Current developments and trends are very promising and dynamic. Regulation will significantly shape the future of this sector, especially with the introduction of MiCA (Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation) in the European Union. Companies like Bitpanda, which prepared for these regulatory changes from an early stage, stand to benefit greatly from this. This development underlines the importance of compliance and shows how companies can gain competitive advantage by proactively adapting to regulatory standards.

The institutionalisation of the crypto industry is another important factor influencing the future of the sector. The expansion of infrastructure and improved market access lay the foundations for sustainable growth and broader acceptance of digital assets. Here, as a provider of infrastructure solutions for digital assets, Bitpanda recognised the trend early on and positioned itself very well in order to benefit from these developments.

Another important aspect is the growing interest in securities tokens. These offer new opportunities in the field of digital assets. We expect them to play an increasingly important role in the future, particularly with regard to the tokenisation of traditional assets and the creation of new investment products.

The sector is dynamic, just recently a leading German neobroker received a full banking license. What can we expect from Bitpanda?

We are on a strong growth path and have several new high-impact products and services in the pipeline that we will be presenting shortly. Our customers and partners can therefore expect to see the next exciting steps in 2024. We want to remain at the forefront of the industry and contribute to the evolution of digital financial services. For this, we are strategically very well positioned, continuously driving innovation forward and improving our customer focus at every stage.

Gernot Wurzer - Head of Business Development Germany, Austria, Eastern Europe, CACEIS in GermanyWhat position do you take on a ban on Payment for Order Flow (PFOF), which is also to be introduced in Germany from 2026?

We consider this development relatively low impact. PFOF was never a business model that we actively pursued. The ban will have no impact on our business. Our main focus is on achieving optimal customer satisfaction with innovative products and services. We are convinced that our commitment to quality and innovation will prevail in the long term, regardless of the specific regulatory changes in relation to PFOF.

What would you like to see from local or EU level regulators?

We are already working very closely with EU regulators. This is of central importance for our business and the reason why we are actively represented in various working groups, such as the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) - thereby underlining our interest in a constructive and future-oriented regulatory policy. We are in favour of regulations that are sensible and effective, and we firmly believe that well thought-out and appropriate regulatory measures are crucial for mass acceptance and thus for the sustainable growth of the crypto industry. Our hope is that regulators continue to maintain an open dialogue with industry in order to jointly develop measures that support investor protection, while promoting innovation and market growth.

Important information – CACEIS’ corporate identity is currently being used to sell fraudulent term deposit products. CACEIS has nothing to do with such offers and does not even sell investment products. Please be vigilant and avoid becoming the victim of this type of fraud.