Vast Bank is the first regulated US bank to offer bitcoin

Vast Bank is the first regulated bank in the United States to offer bitcoin to customers. From now on, customers of the bank can buy, store and sell bitcoin from their familiar digital banking environment, taking advantage of the usual protection by the FDIC.

The Vast Bank from Oklahoma is therefore the first real American bank where you can have bitcoins ‘in your bank account’. Since Vast Bank is fully regulated, bank deposits are insured by the FDIC, a US national institution comparable to the European Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

For the service, Vast Bank works together with software company SAP and the exchange Coinbase, which provide the underlying infrastructure, trading and actual management.

Closed system

At first glance, it seems to be a closed system, mainly aimed at investors and speculators. Customers can buy, store and sell bitcoins via Vast Bank, but little more than that. For example, no mention is made of the possibility of withdrawing bitcoins to one’s own wallet, nor of the possibility of making bitcoin transactions to others.

It is also not yet possible to deposit bitcoins that you already own into a bank account, to deposit them with the bank. Vast Bank would work on that, but regulations make it more difficult. Banks are legally obliged to check the origin of funds. However, Vast Bank already has a number of partners in mind that can help with this with the help of blockchain analysis.

Demand from the market

According to CEO Brad Scrivner, there is a demand for such a service. ?ǣA Gallup survey, and our own internal surveys, showed us that more than 60 percent of all individuals are at least interested in crypto ??? what I would describe as crypto curious. But they also say they want a bank is involved in managing the cryptocurrency,” he explained in an interview with Forbes.

That would be the case with some very wealthy players in the market, who trade exclusively through regulated institutions. Scrivner also thinks that some wealthier bitcoiners may not like the idea of keeping their wealth under the proverbial mattress.

In addition, managing your own wallet would simply be too complicated for some. ?ǣThere are all kinds of different customers who might want to manage everything themselves and have their own wallets, their own passwords,?ǥ Scrivner explains, ?ǣAnd there are also people who are curious about crypto and might want to work with a bank or other intermediary, simply because they don’t quite understand.”

OCC

Vast Bank has been interested in Bitcoin for years. Scrivner says he has personally followed Bitcoin since 2009 and has been in conversations with shareholders about its disruptive potential for several years.

Decisive to take the step was the explicit approval of the American regulator The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), who wrote last year that American banks are allowed to offer bitcoin management services.

Earlier this year, Vast Bank also announced that it would focus on bitcoin management and trading. At the time, it announced that it had completed a successful first transaction.

Other US banks such as JP Morgan, BNY Mellon, US Bank, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are also experimenting with bitcoin, but for now mostly focus on investment funds for wealthier clients.

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