- L Misthos and M Bacina
A Vast Step Forward for Hopeful Crypto Customers
Vast, a United States bank with Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance and a Federal Reserve charter, has become the first in the country to offer Bitcoin services.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Filecoin, Litecoin, Orchid, Algorand and Bitcoin Cash are available to buy, sell and hold directly from an FDIC-insured checking account if you are a customer of Vast Bank.
The landmark feature was approved by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and discussed with the Federal Reserve. The news was not taken well by some, the New York Times writing that cryptos move into the banking sector 'elicits alarm' in Washington. The article, which focuses on crypto loans and the difficulty regulators face was swiftly countered by Founder and CEO of AvantiBT, Caitlin Long.
Regarding disclosure & transparency, #DeFi platforms do a far better job than either centralized #crypto intermediaries or traditional financial institutions do. Indeed, the transparency (information symmetry available) to users in most of #DeFi is one of its best attributes.
Banks which are subject to federal regulations are in a good position to provide crypto services to customers who may not have time, interest or confidence in trading with current institutions. The growing popularity of cryptocurrency and a greater understanding of blockchain technology has allowed Vast to expand into this space.
Vast Bank CEO Brad Scrivner said in an Forbes interview:
A Gallup poll, and our own internal surveys, showed us that more than 60 percent of individuals are at least interested in crypto - what I like to describe as ‘crypto curious’. But they're also saying we want to have a bank involved with our custody of cryptocurrency.
The approval and operation of crypto's on Vast's network will be closely monitored and its success has the potential to spur on other banks to do the same.