Vast Bank becomes first U.S bank to offer crypto services

Vast Bank has become the first bank in the U.S with FDIC insurance and a Federal Reserve charter to offer Bitcoin services. This comes after it was approved by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in the United States.

Vast Bank, N.A. is now the first federally chartered bank in the U.S. to offer the ability to buy, sell, and custody cryptocurrencies directly from a checking account. The bank currently offers 8 cryptocurrencies to its customers. They include; Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Filecoin, Litecoin, Orchid, Algorand and Bitcoin Cash.

Users of the bank can now buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly from an FDIC-insured checking account, while its Bitcoin custody solutions include a mobile trading platform with instant settlement to its accounts.

CEO of Vast bank, Brad Scrivner, in an interview with Forbes explained that the best place to buy and sell cryptocurrencies right now is through a national bank. He stated, “We’re familiar with regulation, we’re going to do the right things, we’re going to do things to make sure the financial system is kept safe and sound.”

Brad Scrivner explained that federally regulated banks can now serve to bring Bitcoin to people who may not have the time or the interest in learning how to custody Bitcoin themselves. He stated, “There’s lots of different customers out there that may want to control everything and have their own wallet, their own passcodes, and then there are those who are crypto curious and may prefer to work with a bank or an intermediary, just because they don’t quite understand.”

During the interview, Brad Scrivner attributed the shift to offering cryptocurrencies as a way to meet the current demands of customers and also as a way to stay relevant in anticipation of future demand. He stated, “We also believe that technology has enabled the customer in a way that it really hadn’t been enabled in the financial services industry previously, and that cryptocurrency was going to be very disruptive in financial services.”

What you should know

In the interview with Forbes, the CEO mentioned that Vast Bank first looked into cryptocurrency custody in July of 2020, after the OCC announced that with a National Bank Charter the institution could custody cryptocurrency assets. After that, both the Board and the shareholders decided to “prioritize crypto in our work,” said Brad Scrivner.

According to Brad Scrivner, an inhouse poll was conducted and revealed that more than 60% of customers were interested in Bitcoin and other cryptos, but “they’re also saying we want to have a bank involved with our custody of cryptocurrency.”

The development comes in part after Vast partnered with Coinbase, who refer their customers to Vast about custodial solutions. Vast is also currently working to allow customers to deposit their Bitcoin in private wallets and exchanges with the bank.

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