Beginning on August 2, 2021, German institutional funds will be able to hold up to 20% of their assets in cryptocurrencies, possibly setting the stage for wider mainstream acceptance of Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto assets by the nation’s pension funds.
As Bloomberg reports, the new law alters fixed investment rules governing Spezialfonds, also known as special funds, which are only accessible to institutional investors such as pension funds and insurers. Spezialfonds currently manage about $2.1 trillion, or 1.8 trillion euros, worth of assets.
Tim Kreutzmann, who works for German investment fund association BVI, told Bloomberg that most funds will likely stay well below the 20% mark initially, explaining:
“On the one hand, institutional investors such as insurers have strict regulatory requirements for their investment strategies. And on the other hand, they must also want to invest in crypto.”
The new rule, which was passed in early July, represents an important evolution in how German lawmakers govern digital assets. Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, better known as BaFin, continues to urge caution with respect to digital-asset investing. At the same time, the financial watchdog encourages blockchain innovation in the country.
Germany first embarked on a comprehensive blockchain strategy in 2019, promoting 44 adoption measures that are set to be realized by the end of 2021. The new approach to blockchain and crypto also introduced measures that would make it easier for investors to access digital investments.
The nation has also become a leading market for cryptocurrency exchange-traded products, or ETPs. Investment product issuer 21Shares has partnered with German brokerage comdirect to provide crypto-focused ETPs to nearly 3 million customers.