A short guide to everything you need to know when trading Bitcoin and major cryptocurrencies in Germany.
Germany is one of the world’s leading economic powers and is slowly becoming a leader in Blockchain technology. In recent years the country has witnessed significant growth in the adoption of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, as well as an increase in Blockchain interest.
The European country’s main financial authority, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority or better known as BaFin qualifies digital currencies as financial instruments. BaFin published a document where it expands its definition to classify all crypto tokens as:
A digital representation of a security that has not been issued or guaranteed by any central bank or public body that is not necessarily linked to a currency specified by law and that does not have the legal status of a currency or money but is accepted as a medium of exchange by natural or legal persons and can be transmitted, stored and traded electronically.
Cryptocurrency mining in Germany
Northern Data (formerly Nothern Bitcoin) is one of the largest crypto mining companies in the world and is headquartered in Germany. This company is dedicated to building global infrastructure for the field of high-performance computing (HPC), a field that goes far beyond Bitcoin and Blockchain applications.
However, the company does not run mining farms on German territory. In 2018, Northern built a mining farm on the west coast of Norway on the former premises of a metal miner.
Beyond this company and other related services, mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is not a very popular activity in Germany. Possibly, because of high electricity rates; and/or because of the costs associated with specialized hardware amidst the high levels of difficulty (in the Bitcoin network). Both factors make it uneconomical to carry out this work.
Among the crypto exchange platforms that provide services for the purchase and sale of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Germany are some such as Kraken, Coinmama, Binance, EXMO, Luno, Bitpanda, and BitSquare. These platforms facilitate the trading of a wide variety of digital assets with fiat currency, bank wire, SEPA transfers, and debit and credit cards.
Also among the list of options available to cryptocurrency traders are peer-to-peer platforms such as Bitcoin.de, one of the leading of its kind in Europe, as well as the globally popular LocalBitcoins. Through these exchanges, interested parties can sell or buy Bitcoin with PayPal or use other payment mechanisms such as gift cards, SEPA, and more.
Another option available to interested parties is cryptocurrency ATMs. According to updated data from Coinatmradar, there are 71 digital currency ATMs in Germany. There are a total of 13 machines in Stuttgart, 7 in Berlin, and 6 in Frankfurt. Additionally, four other cities in the country have 5 crypto ATMs: Cologne, Düsseldorf, Freiburg im Breisgau, and Munich.
Commercial adoption of cryptocurrencies in Germany
At the national level, the fast-food chain Burger King last year incorporated Bitcoin payments in its mobile application and delivery website. Likewise, more than 25 thousand e-shops started accepting the cryptocurrency in 2018 following an agreement by German e-commerce, Gambio.de, and crypto payments service Utrust.
The country also maintains an active tech ecosystem, with hundreds of meetups, talks, and other events available each month in major cities. Among other recent announcements, the German Banking Association of more than 200 banks called for the creation of a digital euro for the continent’s countries.