Which Major Banks Accept Bitcoin?
With the recent announcements by major banks about limiting the credit purchases of cryptocurrency, the relationship between banks and Bitcoin has become fraught. Although complaints about banks denying cryptocurrency purchases with credit cards are nothing new, the fact that some banks are now placing policies on banning or limiting the purchase of digital currencies has caused quite a stir in the industry.
Despite the tension between banks and cryptocurrencies, many banks are looking at the potential applications of blockchain technology. There are a few banks that have begun working towards building a relationship with digital asset exchanges and some already accept cryptocurrencies.
Here is more information about cryptocurrency and banking.
Why Are Banks Reluctant To Embrace Bitcoin?
You may be wondering why many banks do not ‘accept’ Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a deposit. Just in case you didn’t know, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies remove the need for banks and banking which means that there is no incentive for banks to accept Bitcoin deposits.
The traditional banking system is facilitated by something known as the ‘Fractional Reserve Banking’. This system allows a bank to lend out up to 10 times more money than it actually has in it’s reserve. However, with Bitcoin, fractional reserve banking could be impossible for banks to do as there is no central bank controlling Bitcoin and you can own it privately without a bank account. For banks to hold customer’s Bitcoin deposits and for customers to store their digital currencies in a bank, it could be a very risky proposition.
When it comes to customers using credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, banks are concerned about the volatility of crypto prices. Wild fluctuations in prices may leave their customers exposed to unexpected losses, which could affect their ability to pay their credit card debts. Currently, Bitcoin is an extremely volatile cryptocurrency which makes it very prone to fluctuations in prices. In order for banks to recognise Bitcoin as a functioning currency, it would need enough stability to be able to substitute for value reliably.
Banks That Accept Bitcoin
Over the coming years, we may see more major banks accepting cryptocurrency as the technology develops further. Here is a list of some of the banks that are currently ‘Bitcoin-friendly’:
Fidor is a digital bank that was founded in Germany in 2009 and it aims to modernise banking. They provide customers with digital banking solutions that are tailored to a customer’s needs. One of their aims is to be able to enable customers to send and receive money via a mobile number or email address. Fidor have also partnered with Kraken, a cryptocurrency exchange, in order to provide a cryptocurrency bank.
Change is a crowd-funded blockchain project that was founded in Singapore and it plans to revolutionise the way we do banking. They aim to make banking functions available to cryptocurrency users. The company offers a wallet for sending and storing cryptocurrencies, whilst also providing a cryptocurrency spending card that can earn rewards by paying with ‘Change Tokens’. They also aim to provide a marketplace that aggregates the best investment and insurance opportunities, all on a single platform.
Worldcore is a bank in Czech Republic that was launched in 2015 and it began by offering multi-currency accounts. These accounts can be accessed via debit and virtual cards and it has become the leading bank in its country. With Worldcore, customers are able to accept bank payments directly into their Worldcore account, purchase or sell goods and services with their Worldcore account balance, load their prepaid debit cards with any supported cryptocurrencies, withdraw funds in US Dollars or Euros to any bank account, and more.
USAA is a financial services company that was founded in Texas in 1922. This is the first major bank to invest in an exchange and they allow Coinbase users to check their cryptocurrency balances from their mobile apps.
Bankera is an operational fork of ‘SpectroCoin’, which is a bitcoin exchange based in the United Kingdom. Bankera aims to build a comprehensive digital bank and they plan to enable payment accounts with debit cards, personal IBAN, payment processing, and interbank foreign exchange rates. These services will be supplemented with support for traditional fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies.
Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869 in the United States and has become an investment banking giant. Recently, Goldman Sachs had announced that they will be launching a cryptocurrency trading desk and they will offer cryptocurrency products in 2018.
This is not an exhaustive list of banks that accept Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, but it provides a good indication into how banks are finding new ways to integrate this technology and modernise banking.