If you’ve been seeing more and more people buy a cryptocurrency and would like to invest in it yourself, you aren’t alone. While many financial institutions offer to buy these currencies, knowing the options can help you trade cryptocurrencies in a much safer environment.
In this article, we’ll be looking at banking platforms through which you can buy these digital assets. We’ll also look at other crypto businesses offering financial services through which you must ultimately transact.
Understanding which bitcoin-friendly banks are available can help you choose a complete banking solution best for you.
9 Best Crypto-Friendly Banks
This section will look at some of the banks that are considered crypto-friendly. But do keep in mind that this can mean several different things.
That’s why our list includes financial institutions that have embraced cryptocurrencies in several different ways.
Here are the best crypto-friendly banks you can start using today:
1. Ally Bank
Ally Bank is an online bank integrated with crypto exchange Coinbase to offer customers access to cryptocurrencies available through this exchange.
Ally customers can purchase cryptos directly through their credit card or debit card.
The bank also offers several investment options, most of which can be traded with no commission fees.
You can also choose between managed portfolios, which use a Robo-advisor, or self-directed trading, which gives you complete control over your portfolio.
USAA (United Services Automobile Association) is a bank serving both current and former military members, spouses, and children.
They offer several financial products and services, including Financial Account Management.
Here you can connect several accounts, including your Coinbase account.
Doing this allows you to view your balances and monitor any transactions right from the bank’s portal, making it that much easier to stay on top of things at all times.
3. Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the best national banks that offer investment options through its company Merill Edge, allowing customers to invest in several assets.
Unfortunately, you cannot buy cryptocurrencies directly, but this does not mean you cannot invest in them.
Indeed, if you have a Bank of America Merill Edge account and want to buy crypto, you can do so through ETFs. ETFs stands for Exchange Traded Funds.
What these funds do is track the performance of an underlying asset – such as cryptocurrencies.
You can also invest in funds that track the performance of companies involved in blockchain, which is the underlying technology on which cryptocurrencies are built.
Bank of America is also easy to connect with Coinbase so that you can withdraw money much more easily.
4. Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs first started offering crypto trading back in 2018 but decided to stop this service later as investors started to shy away.
Following the recent uptick in bitcoin, in particular, the bank has resumed its cryptocurrency trading.
At the moment, Goldman Sachs deals with bitcoin futures as well as non-deliverable forwards and is currently looking into a bitcoin ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund).
This configuration can offer investors looking to invest in bitcoin and other digital currencies more options to choose from for greater portfolio flexibility and, hopefully, returns.
While Juno is known for its high yield interest on checking accounts and cashback rewards, it’s recently done a deep dive into crypto, now dubbing itself as the place where banking and crypto meet.
OnJuno customers can get paid in crypto. They can also buy and sell cryptocurrencies using their checking accounts, with 0% fees. Idle crypto earns 6% interest, and crypto purchases made with an OnJuno debit card earn 10% interest.
Unlike some banks that have a seven-day waiting period, you can cash out on your crypto at any time with OnJuno.
Revolut is a fintech newcomer in the US has launched in March of 2020. Even so, they have made great strides within the European market and enjoy widespread adoption thanks to their innovative approach to banking services.
Revolut allows customers to purchase bitcoin directly through its app, which is available for Android and iOS devices.
You can buy crypto anytime you want or set an auto exchange that instructs the app to buy when the exchange rate hits a specific price.
Signing up is free, and you get access to many other features, including early pay and an FDIC insured account.
While Wirex is not a bank per se, it allows you to buy and sell 18 different currencies wade of fiat and crypto. Fiat to fiat exchanges come with 0 fees at interbank exchange rates.
You also get a Mastercard debit card which allows you to spend your crypto money anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
Conversions are done in real-time, and you also get 2% cash back rewards.
Bitwala is a crypto-friendly bank based in Berlin, Germany that comes with integrated wallets which are non-custodial so that you’re always in control.
Crypto trading fees are set at 1%, which makes them a relatively cheap broker. Even so, the bank will pay an interest rate of 4.06% per year on any bitcoins held with them.
Deposits are also guaranteed up to €100,000. The account is free; however, availability is limited.
Fidor is a German bank that allows customers to buy and sell several cryptocurrencies through its integration with bitcoin.de (a German bitcoin marketplace) and Kraken.
Fidor also allows its customers to integrate their checking account into their crypto wallet through an API provided by the bank.
This integration means customers can access their wallets via the bank account’s dashboard from anywhere.
What is Crypto?
Crypto can mean many things, but generally speaking, it is a shortened term for cryptography. However, when talking about finances, crypto usually refers to cryptocurrency – a form of digital currency taking the world by storm.
Traditional currencies, such as the US Dollar (USD) – also known as fiat currencies, have been around in one form or another from the very early ages of humanity.
They are used to pay for services and products and are managed by one central entity such as a central bank or the federal reserve. Since traditional currencies are controlled by one entity, the currency’s value is determined by that entity.
Of course, other factors come into play since all economies participate in international markets. Even so, traditional currencies are still governed by the federal reserve.
How Does Cryptocurrency Work?
Cryptocurrency works differently. It’s not managed by one entity but instead follows a particular protocol.
You could say that it’s managed by the same community that owns it. It is still a medium of exchange in that it allows you to pay for and be paid for different things, and therefore it has value.
Essentially, crypto is a digital asset built on blockchain technology which is what makes it so unique. It works on what is known as a distributed ledger system – where ledgers (databases) are held in a distributed ecosystem. It’s very different from the traditional banking system in which records are kept in one central location.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) are highly volatile in that their value can go up or down very quickly. This volatility is due to several factors that include supply and demand and the bitcoin market’s size, which is still comparatively small.
However, as the world gets more accustomed to crypto, it is starting to be used in more ways than ever before. From ICO (Initial Coin Offering) to help startups raise funds to Visa and Mastercard-backed ATM cards, crypto is here to stay.
What are Crypto-Friendly Banks?
Because cryptocurrencies are highly volatile, they can present a great investment opportunity. This volatility can allow investors and speculators to make a lot of money over a short amount of time. The opposite is also true – you see the value of your hard-earned cash shrink overnight.
This volatility (and the premise that cryptocurrencies will keep growing in value) is why people from all walks of life are buying bitcoins.
Since crypto works differently than fiat, buying bitcoin is a different process than buying dollars. Because it’s relatively new, many people still don’t fully understand how it works, which is why banks have started to offer crypto buying options.
Traditionally, to buy cryptocurrency, you’d have needed a wallet, an account with an exchange, and a form of payment.
While it may sound complicated, in reality, the process is far simpler than what you’ve probably heard. You use the exchange to pay for cryptocurrency, with the exchange working like a marketplace.
Depending on the exchange you use, once you buy crypto, you can either keep it there or withdraw it to your own personal wallet.
Crypto-friendly banks simplify this process by transacting on your behalf with the exchange. Using this method, in most cases, you will not need to create any separate accounts as the bank will handle everything for you.
Banks vs. Exchanges
The irony of crypto-friendly banks is not lost. After all, one of the biggest advantages of cryptocurrencies is that the banking system is not required at any point in the transaction process.
Despite that, crypto has become a major asset. Many investors want to get their hands-on, and as it goes, market supply will inevitably meet market demand.
The rising popularity of bitcoin is one of the main reasons that banks have become more crypto-friendly. European countries have several crypto-friendly banks such as Revolut (which has now made its way over to the US) and Bankera. US Banks have also started to become more crypto-friendly after the initial criticism.
In most cases, these banks connect to an exchange allowing the customer to buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and others.
A cryptocurrency exchange is essentially a business that allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. These are usually commission-free, but this doesn’t mean that you are not paying for the service. You pay through a bid-ask spread – the difference in the price between buying and selling an asset – in this case, the digital currency.
The number of exchanges has been increasing exponentially, with SpectroCoin (Estonia), Coinbase (US), and Ripple (US) being but some of the biggest players.
One thing that you might want to look for here is whether you’re allowed to withdraw the currency to your personal wallet or not. Some banks might give you this option, while others might not.
Crypto-Friendly Banks FAQs
Is Bank of America crypto-friendly?
In 2020, Bank of America started trading all crypto transactions as cash transactions. The bank has started to embrace these types of digital currencies through this change, making it crypto-friendly.
Is Chase crypto-friendly?
Yes, Chase Bank works very well with exchanges such as Coinbase. Last year, Chase also launched its own cryptocurrency called JPM Coin, backed by the US dollar.
Which US banks are crypto-friendly?
There are many crypto-friendly banks in the US, including Ally Bank, Simple Bank, USAA, Chase, and Bank of America.
Can banks hold cryptocurrency?
In most cases, banks work through a crypto exchange, some of which come with an integrated digital wallet. The wallet allows you to hold your cryptocurrency and access it through a mobile banking app.