By Hannah Perez
Vast Bank, founded in 1982, began offering its customers services with Bitcoin
and other cryptocurrencies from its online banking app.
A small family-owned bank in the United States claims to be the first in the country to allow its customers to buy, sell and manage digital currencies directly from their bank accounts
Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Vast Bank is a small, nearly 40-year-old family-owned banking institution that has begun offering a new “Crypto Banking” service. The functionality is available from the bank’s mobile app and offers customers to trade Bitcoin
and six other different cryptocurrencies.
Brad Scrivner, CEO of Vast Bank, explained in a press release that the initiative comes in the wake of growing customer demand. “For quite some time, our customers have been asking why they can’t securely buy Bitcoin
using their bank account,” he said, adding:
We took on this challenge head-on and dedicated significant resources to respond to this unmet need. We are excited to bring this service online and give all consumers the opportunity to explore the world of cryptocurrencies in a way that gives you the peace of mind that only a bank like Vast can provide.
Vast Bank offers multiple cryptocurrency trading
Previously Valley National Bank
, the bank has been testing the service for customers to buy cryptocurrencies from their bank accounts for the first half of the year and now claims to be ready to offer users a full crypto experience from the same place where they check their account balances.
The bank also claims to have conducted a national survey that revealed that more than 50% of people interested in cryptocurrencies said they would prefer to invest in Bitcoin through a bank rather than other platforms. “You’ve probably seen the surveys that have said that 60% of people who have not yet engaged in cryptocurrencies say they would like to do so, but they would like to do it through their bank
,” the CEO commented.
I believe cryptocurrencies will essentially become this feature within banking.
According to the information, through the online application, users can buy, sell and manage various cryptocurrencies, including <a href=”https://www.d
iariobitcoin.com/glossary/bitcoin/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Cardano (ADA), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin(LTC). The service also allows customers to view their digital asset account balances alongside their fiat account balances.
Vast Bank serves as the custodian of its customers’ cryptocurrencies while Coinbase acts as the exchange. According to the bank’s website the checking accounts are insured up to USD$250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the digital currencies are protected through an insurance policy covered by Coinbase.
“We wanted to give institutions and individuals the confidence that this (service) is something they can participate in without feeling like they’re in the Wild West,” Scrivner commented on the matter.
Responding to demand
Although it is a relatively small institution, Vast Bank plans to continue expanding its services with cryptocurrencies. The bank had just under USD$800 million in assets for the first quarter. By comparison, JP Morgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank by assets, has USD$3.2 trillion.
Vast Bank, which is also committed to serving cryptocurrency companies, which have historically been discriminated against by banks, said it will continually evaluate new cryptocurrencies to keep its offerings up to date. They also hope to provide more security to open the doors to wholesale investors; and advanced plans to add new crypto features to the platform.
“We’ve already been doing some things on the lending side in terms of looking for a legal review,” the CEO told CoinDesk. “There’s lending against crypto as collateral .We would probably start with Bitcoinand ETH.”
The move by the small Oklahoma bank comes amid a growing interest among U.S. banks to offer their customers services and exposure to cryptocurrencies. Some banking giants like Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, among others, have recently made moves in this direction.
Version by Hannah Estefania Perez / DiarioBitcoin
Image by Unsplash