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The ink still hasn’t dried on the passing of the EU’s new Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) bill, a landmark in comprehensive crypto legislation for the bloc’s 27 states, and already the furnaces of invention are fired up for at least one European crypto company.
Berlin-based fintech startup Unstoppable Finance, currently most well known for its self-custodial crypto wallet called Ultimate, announced today it will be rolling out Europe’s first compliant "-native bank" alongside a fiat-backed Euro-pegged following MiCA’s guidance.
The DeFI banking arm will ensure that the stablecoin is fully backed by reserves, as outlined by the new legislation from Brussels, says co-founder and CTO Peter Grosskopf in a call to Decrypt.
Prior to founding Unstoppable, Grosskopf worked with Maximillian von Wallenberg-Pachaly and Omid Aladini to launch Börse Stuttgart Digital Exchange (BSDEX), Germany's first regulated crypto exchange in Germany.
The three then founded Unstoppable Finance in 2021. Their Ultimate DeFi wallet enables users to interact with and protocols, self-custody assets, and trade crypto from their smartphones.
Grosskopg highlighted the recent liquidity crises that rocked Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, Silvergate, and Credit Suisse earlier this year, highlighting how the chaos briefly depegged Circle's native stablecoin USDC “because [Circle holds] parts of its reserves in different bank accounts.”
“With [Unstoppable’s DeFi bank] we are able at any time to deposit money to an European Central Bank (ECB) account,” said Grosskopf. “We try to put as much money as possible into an ECB account because we trust in [fiat] as the most stable form of money that we have today, so it’s not depending on the risk management of the bank. It's guaranteed money and that’s what we try to maximize.”
The company’s stablecoin is legally classified as an “e-money token,” which typically refers to any blockchain-based stablecoin that indexes its value to the price of the fiat currency it references.
When asked about whether Unstoppable is acclimatizing itself to the EU’s new rules, Grosskopf answered in the affirmative, drawing on his previous history as part of the founding team and CTO of Solarisbank, the first tech company to get a German digital banking license seven years ago.
As for when exactly the trio plans to launch the bank, it's still unclear.
“No timeline yet," an Unstoppable Finance spokesperson told Decrypt. "As soon as possible obviously. Depends also on how fast we can get all the necessary licenses.”