Bitcoin gets a ‘ja’ from cash-loving Germans

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A motley crew of old-money investors, entrepreneurs, crypto-anarchists and anti-inflation hawks is rallying around bitcoin in a surprising place: cash-loving Germany.

Driven by interest from these very different constituencies, Germany and especially its capital are turning into a development hub for virtual currencies and blockchains, the distributed ledger technology that underpins them.

“It’s a technology driven by anarchists who wanted to get rid of banks, and now the banks are promoting the technology,” said Shermin Voshmgir, founder of BlockchainHub, a Berlin-based think tank that advocates for blockchain and the decentralized web. “Many of the main actors are based in Berlin,” she said.

Germany’s Deutsche Bank AG












DBK, -0.97%










 and Bertelsmann SE, among the biggest investment banks and media companies in the world, are both looking to integrate blockchain into their operations, according to company insiders. In Munich and Bonn, fintech startups and venture capitalists are jumping into the cryptocurrency field. In Berlin, a world-class blockchain coding community has been growing for years.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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