Raiffeisen Bank’s Austrian branch and top Australian crypto exchanges, including Independent Reserve, BTC Markets, Swyftx, Kraken, and Binance Australia, are gearing up for an anticipated surge in the crypto market. The Austrian Bank is set to offer cryptocurrency trading, while Australian exchange leaders are bolstering their infrastructure and customer education initiatives. 

Raiffeisen Bank’s Austrian branch is gearing up to introduce cryptocurrency trading for its customers. This means you will be able to trade Bitcoin directly on the bank’s platform. This move, first mentioned in April 2023, is now taking shape through a partnership with Austrian crypto company Bitpanda

The plan is to launch these crypto trading services in Vienna, starting in the early months of 2024. 

A bank spokesperson shared that they’ve teamed up with Bitpanda to create a user-friendly digital investment platform, responding to their clients’ growing interest in easy and accessible digital investments. 

Raiffeisen wants to keep up with its customers’ investment desires

The bank is enthusiastic about this new venture, emphasizing its commitment to meeting customer needs and preferences.

“We have seen the demand from customers for easy, intuitive, digital investment platforms. Our main intention to take customer-centric decisions has triggered these efforts, which we are excited about bringing to market.”

As part of their new crypto initiative, customers of RLB NÖ-Wien, a branch of Raiffeisen Bank, will have access to a wide range of cryptocurrencies offered by Bitpanda, their partnering firm. 

Bitpanda’s Deputy CEO, Lukas Enzersdorfer-Konrad, had mentioned that this collaboration would include Bitpanda’s extensive digital asset portfolio, which boasts over 2,500 cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ether

Furthermore, Enzersdorfer-Konrad highlighted that Raiffeisen aims to make these crypto trading services available to all types of clients, including those in retail, private banking, and the corporate sector.

“As we announced in April, the end goal is to make our offer available to all RLB NÖ-Wien customers. However, the rollout will begin with their customers in Vienna,” a spokesperson for Bitpanda noted.

Raiffeisen Bank’s venture into cryptocurrency trading is a further indication of the increasing acceptance of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. 

This trend is also reflected by companies such as Ferrari, which began accepting cryptocurrency payments in October 2023. 

Historical Context and Market Position

Established as one of Europe’s oldest banks, Raiffeisen’s roots date back to its first branch opening in Mühldorf, Austria, in 1886. 

As of June 30, 2023, the Raiffeisen Group managed assets totalling 247 billion Swiss francs (equivalent to about $280 billion) and had client loans amounting to 219 billion CHF (around $248 billion).

Banks are taking note of the increase in popularity of cryptocurrencies, just as the bull market is expected to start. 

Australian Exchanges Anticipate Market Growth

Australia’s top crypto exchange leaders are preparing for an anticipated bull market, expecting a rapid increase in business. Adrian Przelozny of Independent Reserve is ensuring his exchange is ready with the necessary processes, people, and infrastructure to handle a potential tripling of business overnight. He optimistically predicts the next two years to be promising for the crypto market.

BTC Markets’ Caroline Bowler has observed more bullish market conditions since January, with notable growth in asset prices and technological applications in the industry. She cites the influx of new users and increased trading volumes as signs of an emerging bull market.

Tommy Honan from Swyftx reports a rise in buying activity and is enhancing direct debit functions, a recent challenge in Australia’s crypto sector. He attributes this increase to improved market fundamentals, not just investor FOMO, noting a return of customers who were inactive during the bear market.

Jonathon Miller of Kraken Australia urges caution, pointing out the grey area between bull and bear markets. However, he acknowledges reasons for optimism, such as the upcoming Bitcoin halving and Ethereum’s Dencun upgrade, which are attracting both institutional and retail investors. He highlights the growing institutional interest in crypto assets.

Ben Rose from Binance Australia observes an increase in new registrations and trading activity but refrains from confirming a bull market. Focusing on educating users, Rose aims to avoid FOMO-driven buying, emphasizing sustainable and responsible engagement with crypto as part of financial management rather than just price-driven interest.