Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange Gets US Banking License, Plans to Be Global Bank
Cryptocurrency trading platform Kraken has received a banking license recognized under federal law to operate as a bank in the U.S. The company has outlined its plans to offer a number of cryptocurrency-focused financial services locally and globally.
Kraken Now a US Bank
Kraken announced Wednesday that it has received a U.S. bank charter. “The state of Wyoming has approved Kraken’s application to form the world’s first Special Purpose Depository Institution (SPDI), tentatively called Kraken Financial,” the company detailed,
Kraken Financial is the first digital asset company in U.S. history to receive a bank charter recognized under federal and state law.
The announcement further states that Kraken Financial “will be the first regulated, U.S. bank to provide comprehensive deposit-taking, custody and fiduciary services for digital assets.” The Wyoming Legislature enacted HB 74 last year, which authorized the chartering of Special Purpose Depository Institutions, which Kraken described as custody banks for digital assets. As a bank, Wyoming law requires Kraken Financial to maintain 100% reserves of its deposits of fiat currency at all times. “If every client were to demand withdrawals of their fiat at the same moment, Kraken Financial would be able to fulfill each withdrawal immediately without regard to how many loans we had outstanding,” the company emphasized.
Kraken Financial will be regulated by the Wyoming Division of Banking. It will have a permanent physical presence in Cheyenne with back-office teams and functions. Kraken clarified that it “will operate an online and mobile-first banking model.” The company explained that its banking operations “will start locally, but will soon operate globally,” noting that the SPDI charter will help expand its reach across the United States, “and will also help the broader Kraken organization to service companies around the world.” Initially, accounts are only available to U.S. residents, but the company says, “We hope to expand globally soon.” Kraken also outlined the services it plans to offer. In the first year of operations, digital asset custody, demand deposit accounts, wire transfers, and funding services will be available. Within the next few years, more services will be added, such as staking, trust accounts, a complete suite of online and mobile banking services, and debit cards.
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A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.
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