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Bitcoin-Friendly Banks

Over its 10 years of existence, Bitcoin adoption has been just like its price—up and down. At this point in time, it’s safe to say that the adoption of our favourite cryptocurrency has never been higher. Since adoption is so high, it has never been easier to buy bitcoin (with hundreds of payment methods available on peer-to-peer marketplaces).

Concrete evidence of bitcoin adoption: banks

While banks used to be thought of as bitcoin’s main antagonist, they have become more friendly towards the idea in recent years. Although there are only a few that “accept” bitcoin, there are banks that are linked directly to big bitcoin exchanges—opening up trading desks specifically for bitcoin. There are also banks that have merely shown their support for the use of bitcoin but still have no concrete evidence of that support.

Here’s a list of banks that, in one way or another, have presented themselves to be “bitcoin-friendly”:

Bankera

Although Bankera may not be a traditional bank to the world’s standards, it’s nevertheless a bank that supports and integrates the use of Bitcoin in their system. Bankera, according to their website, was designed to “be the bridge between the traditional financial world and the blockchain technology.” In the hopes of being the “one-stop store” for all financial needs, their team has introduced the use of SpectroCoin—a global blockchain wallet that can be used for sending, selling, receiving, and storing a wide array of cryptocurrencies (including BTC, ETH, USDT, XEM, DASH) as well as over 20 different fiat currencies.

The forward-thinking bank is fully digital yet fully functional—eliminating the “unnecessary costs” that a “brick-and-mortar” bank would collect. Bankera offers interbank foreign exchange rates, debit cards, payment accounts, payment processing, and lending (allowing altcoins as collateral). As of March 2019, the exchange/bank has over 300k users and has issued more than 50k Bitcoin debit cards.

Barclays

Barclays, a bank that has a close relationship with San Francisco-based exchange Coinbase, is a multinational investment bank and financial services company. In March of 2018, Coinbase and Barclays struck a deal that would make it easier for UK-based customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Through that deal, Coinbase users would be able to open bank accounts with Barclays and UK-based customers would no longer have to exchange their pounds into Euros to buy bitcoin.

UK customers can also now buy cryptocurrency with a Barclays debit card, as well as a Barclaycard credit card.

Bank of England

Although the Bank of England, one of the UK’s most well-known banks, doesn’t go as far as to have their own cryptocurrency (yet), they have shown their support for digital currencies immensely. The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee assessed cryptocurrencies as a whole and stated that they “do not currently pose a risk to monetary or financial stability in the UK.” However, they go a step back by saying that cryptocurrency assets like Bitcoin are more of a risk to investors and “anyone buying cryptoassets should be prepared to lose all their money.”

Despite the slightly-grisly warning to investors, they still remain in-support of digital currencies. The Chief Economist of the bank even went as far as to say that Bitcoin could one day replace cash. The bank also carries out research into these digital assets as well as the technology that supports them.

Monaize

Just like Bankera, Monaize is a fully digital e-banking platform. It’s catered to freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small enterprises in France and the UK, supplying facilities of business that have been previously denied to those who invest in cryptocurrency. In doing so, freelancers are provided immediate access to their account. In the white paper, it reads: “No need to dress up in a fancy suit, no in-branch meetings, no presentation of business plants to out-of-touch bank managers. Our users are able to open a business account in 5 minutes from the comfort of their own home or whilst on the move.

The Monaize token, a token that will play an important role in the service and technology integration of the platform, will be issued via the Komodo Platform.

Virgin Money

Despite Virgin Money not allowing its customers to buy cryptocurrency with credit cards, the financial services brand isn’t opposed to the whole idea. They still allow the purchase of cryptocurrency with their debit cards. The idea of not allowing customers to buy cryptocurrency with credit cards is their way of saying that they aren’t going to lend any customers money for them to buy cryptocurrency.

Making the leap

In most cases, the reason why banks go against cryptocurrencies is because of the fear that that crypto would be used by criminals to launder money. Despite that, there are banks that still believe in the true power of cryptocurrency and the amount of financial good it can contribute to society. These UK-based banks also aren’t the only ones starting to get on the trend—a major bank in Manila, Philippines is also taking that leap and creating their own coin, Stablecoin PHX.

It’s important that these banks are given the time to warm up to Bitcoin because, for all we know, time is all they need. So hold onto your bitcoin wallet for now, a bank nearby may start warming up to bitcoin soon!

Iggi Vargas
Iggi Vargas is an aspiring writer heavily interested in art, fashion, music, and most of all, cryptocurrency. With his love for writing mixed with a growing passion for cryptocurrency, he aims to drain every last bit of knowledge about crypto and disseminate it the public with a more laid-back and less intimidating approach. He believes that crypto is the future and he's glad to be the missionary for all crypto enthusiasts.
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