Federal Financial Supervisory Authority or ‘BaFin‘ is Germany’s financial regulatory authority overseeing Germany’s financial markets and service providers. Formed in 2002 after the passing of the Financial Services and Integration Act, BaFin falls under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Finance and is responsible for regulating 2,700 banks, 800 financial services institutions, and over 700 insurance undertakings.
As Germany’s financial system is heavily developed, BaFin is a forerunner to clear cryptocurrency regulations and was one of the first regulatory bodies that gave financial institutions the ability to custody blockchain-based assets, after an application process to BaFin. To see BaFin’s current Crypto Custody Business regulations click here.
However, BaFin also takes a cautious tone to regulations around the crypto-sphere, the regulations around Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ATMs for example are some of the most stringent in the world. Despite this, some FinTech players have been able to comply with the strict requirements – Spot9 is the first fully regulated Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ATM provider in Germany – with AML/KYC/CFT provided by their partner, Coinfirm.
BaFin deals with matters such as monopoly/oligopoly abuse (cartels), market manipulation, financial fraud, etc.
In September of 2020, BaFin banned staff from trading shares and financial securities that the regulator oversees, in the wake of the collapse of Wirecard.