Investment platform Bitpanda to offer services to Irish customers

Fintech unicorn is also building a small team in Ireland to support customers

Austrian fintech Bitpanda is to begin offering its services in Ireland, bringing its investment platform to Irish customers and setting up a small local team.

The company offers more than 2,000 digital assets to potential investors, including cryptocurrencies to commission-free fractional stocks, ETFs, commodities and precious metals.

Bitpanda is the latest investment platform to make the push into Ireland as high inflation and interest rates that have failed to keep pace force people look for alternatives to traditional savings accounts for their money. The company said it sees a decent appetite for its products here, with a number of Irish investors already using the platform prior to its official launch in the country.

As part of its push to remove barriers to investing, the company also partners with existing financial institutions to modernise traditional financial products. Deputy chief executive Lukas Enzersdorfer-Konrad said Bitpanda is exploring collaborations with Irish financial institutions, and talks are already underway. It has already established partnership with several European financial firms through its Bitpanda White Label API-infrastructure that brings around the clock access to trading, with current customers including digital bank N26, French neobank Lydia and UK based smart money app Plum.

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The company is building a small team of staff in Ireland to support its roll-out. Former head of EMEA growth at Hailo Rob Cumiskey has been appointed head of marketing for Bitpanda in Ireland. The company also has appointed a head of country for the Irish market, and hopes to expand further in the future.

Aimed at both experienced and first-time investors, Bitpanda accounts are free to open. The company also has an extensive knowledge hub to help increase education around investment, something Mr Enzersdorfer-Konrad says is currently too low in Europe. The hub includes videos to educate retail customers on personal finance, cryptocurrencies, investing in the financial markets, and also blockchain technology.

The company also has a strong focus on regulatory compliance. “We started for example doing [know your customer] before we were obliged to do so simply because we believe long term it makes sense,” said Mr Enzersdorfer-Konrad. “As in the last week, the whole crypto industry has shown that if you’re an unregulated player, for example, FTX in the Bahamas, then it really can lead to issues because there are no rules, there are no laws, there is no proper regulator, and no proper control system in place - all the topics financial market industry has learned in the last 60 years and why this regulation is there.”

Established in 2014, the company is aiming to be the number one investment platform in Europe. It currently employs more than 700 people across its offices in Vienna, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bucharest and Milan.

“We believe that digital assets and blockchain technology are reinventing what it means to invest, and we’re committed to keep building simple, easy-to-use, and fully regulated financial products for everyone,” said Eric Demuth, co-founder and CEO of Bitpanda. “As one of the most regulated and safest investment platforms in Europe, we prioritise the safety of our community at any time. We are now excited to bring our products to Irish investors to simplify their wealth creation and financial freedom.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist