Pioneering Cryptocurrency Access: How justTRADE Established the First Crypto-focused Broker Platform in Germany

Pioneering Cryptocurrency Access: How justTRADE Established the First Crypto-focused Broker Platform in Germany

Nov 7, 2023
Pioneering Cryptocurrency Access: How justTRADE Established the First Crypto-focused Broker Platform in Germany

Supporting German investors requires a lot of trust, and while retail options like Kraken or Binance are available, they may not always be the desired way to invest in Crypto. Building a firm that can onboard customers to crypto takes a lot of thought and careful planning.

justTRADE, the online trading platform and German broker, did exactly that. Michael B. Bußhaus, co-founder and Managing Director, tells us about the beginning of the brand, “justTRADE was founded in 2018. In 2019, we went into a beta phase with selected customers. In May 2020, we started with the trading of securities. But it was always clear to us from the beginning that we also wanted to offer crypto to our customers.”

With a clear trajectory, it was important for justTRADE to find the right partners to bring their vision into reality.

Meeting Customer Demand in a New Sector

In October 2020, justTRADE began to offer crypto-trading to their customers, “We were the first German broker to offer crypto trading out of one custody account.” The team started with four cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum, “we had good coverage for the customers’ needs, but we struggled to offer other digital assets in the early stages.”

Customer demand for more products was growing, and justTRADE needed to find a partner that could offer a lot of products with deep liquidity and low spreads to fit the needs of their trading platform.

With many different customer profiles, justTRADE had their work cut out for them. From serving customers who simply wanted to invest in blue chip products, to customers who wanted tactical exposure, the platform needed to find ETP offerings that would satisfy them all. Michael explains, “There are different target groups that have different needs. 21Shares products tracks the performance of crypto and made it accessible to our customers.”

Applying familiar investment standards to a wider product range

With a wide range of products and deep liquidity for all of them, 21Shares was an easy choice, “It was only a logical step for us to say that these were the exact products we were looking for.” The team was very strategic in the products they wanted to offer, “We have a closed store approach, so we don’t offer everything. But we consider the partners that fit our customers and the partner that has the exact products we’re missing.” 21Shares was a perfect fit, “You offer a wide, innovative product range. Of course, 21Shares was a preferred partner… and that’s why we’ve been partners for, I don’t remember exactly how long… but an extremely long time.”

For justTRADE, encouraging users to trade on the platform means offering products they’re familiar with. Michael tells us, “Customers are used to ETPs, it’s the usual way they trade.” Offering this regulated investment vehicle ensures security, but 21Shares has other values as well, “Trading volume is important to keep the spreads low.” Low administrative fees help the platform to reduce customer fees, “You want to offer as low of a threshold as possible. If the customer trades with us, they have to custody assets with us. We want to keep it simple for them.”

Simplifying Complex Tax Challenges for Investors

It’s not always possible to offer such a wide range of products, but Michael is excited that justTRADE has the ability to present innovative products with 21Shares, “It’s a unique selling point. There are products like BOLD (21Shares Bytetree BOLD ETP), which is gold and crypto. Customers are always asking for short products,” 21Shares offers two short products, 21Shares Short Bitcoin ETP (SBTC) and 21Shares Short Ethereum ETP (SHETH), “21Shares is one of the few providers that offer short products. That’s simply the reason 21Shares is so well suited as a partner.”

21Shares also simplified one of the most complex challenges justTRADE customers faced. Michael explains, ”I'll just say, you also took care of this tax issue early on, so that the products are tax-free after one year.” Currently, German-based private investors who hold crypto ETPs ​​with a physical delivery option for one year or longer may not be subject to capital gains taxes on any appreciation in the value of ETPs. 21Shares crypto ETPs are unique because they have a physical redemption right, which is considered equal to direct holdings by tax authorities. Michael tells us, “Of course, our customers have different tax profiles and some of the products are still subject to withholding tax, but in the end there is a lot of savings.” The breadth of the 21Shares offering makes this possible for justTRADE, “There are simply a lot of products and a lot of advantages that I can offer.”

Looking Ahead

Michael knows this is just the beginning for justTRADE, “We operate according to demand. If customers are asking for a specific product, we’ll pass that on.” This level of customer-centricity is central to justTRADE’s mission, “We work hand in hand with partners like 21Shares, so that customers know they’re getting a great offer here.” Working with a trusted brand like 21Shares helps to support justTRADE’s customers every step of the way, “You have an extremely well-known brand. You guys are one of the pioneers. You have a very, very broad product range. You have attractive conditions.” Michael goes on, “I want to have relevant products for every type of investor in every market phase. As an issuer who selects products, you want to offer a broad, sensible range that offers everything possible from indexes to single stocks to shorts. 21Shares has built up a brand from the beginning, so people just know - crypto ETPs: that’s 21Shares.”