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Kraken and what does ‘crypto bank’ mean
Kraken and what does ‘crypto bank’ mean
Crypto

Kraken and what does ‘crypto bank’ mean

By Marco Cavicchioli - 17 Sep 2020

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Kraken, the company that owns the crypto exchange of the same name, has obtained the approval of the State of Wyoming to create its own bank

It will be the first Special Purpose Depository Institution (SPDI) in the world, and could be called Kraken Financial.

SPDIs are special depository institutions created in 2019 by the state of Wyoming, for which approval is required. 

They are for all intents and purposes banks that receive deposits from clients, and conduct other related activities, such as fiduciary asset management, custody and related activities, and in fact resemble custodial banks, whose role is primarily that of asset storage.

The official SPDI presentation document published by the Wyoming Banking Division states explicitly: 

“It is likely that many SPDIs will focus heavily on digital assets, such as virtual currencies, digital securities and utility tokens”.

It is possible to imagine that the state’s intent was to attract crypto exchanges, or similar, into its territory, but so far it appears that only Kraken has decided to take advantage of this opportunity. 

Kraken, the first crypto bank in the USA

Kraken Financial will be headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and to date, it is the first digital asset company in the US to open a bank recognized under federal and state law in the US. 

Kraken states: 

“[it] will be the first regulated, U.S. bank to provide comprehensive deposit-taking, custody and fiduciary services for digital assets”.

In many parts of the world today it is very difficult to deal with the traditional banking system when operating in the cryptocurrency sector. 

This problem arises mainly due to the fact that existing institutions are not sufficiently involved in the sector to recognize and limit the risks. 

The seemingly obvious solution to this problem is for crypto companies themselves to provide their clients with banking services that traditional banks do not want to offer. 

In fact, there are still very few traditional banks in the world that provide their services to the crypto industry without particular problems or differences, while there are many crypto companies that provide services similar to those provided by traditional banks. 

Kraken is doing nothing other than bringing this process to the final step, that is, obtaining a fully-fledged banking licence to be able to operate as a crypto-friendly bank as well. 

Therefore, if on the one hand, the traditional banking system has been unprepared for the new opportunities offered by this young and promising sector, on the other, the avant-garde companies already operating in the crypto world may not miss the opportunity to compete with the traditional institutions and provide those services that are in great demand in this market, but for which the traditional services are limited or uncertain. 

Marco Cavicchioli
Marco Cavicchioli

Class 1975, Marco teaches web-technologies and is an online writer specializing in cryptocurrencies. He founded ilBitcoin.news, and his YouTube channel has more than 25 thousand subscribers.

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