As cryptocurrencies become more popular, an increasing number of people are looking for ways to use them in their everyday lives.
One major challenge, though, is finding crypto-friendly banks willing to work with BTC and other coins.
This article will explore a few of the financial institutions that are most welcoming of digital currencies, as well as some of the benefits they offer the customers who use them.
Crypto friendly banks are financial entities that accept cryptocurrency as a medium of monetary trade. In other words, these types of banks permit cryptocurrency trading and support digital currencies for fiat exchanges.
They might also provide customers with lower transaction fees for moving back and forth between crypto and traditional assets.
Despite growing interest in crypto investments across Great Britain and Europe, cryptocurrency’s continuous association with illegal activities and money laundering, as well as the volatility of BTC, Ether and other coins, have caused many banks to close their doors on crypto trading.
Lack of regulation in the area, particularly in the UK, is another factor why many formerly crypto-friendly banks are turning away from dealing with BTC and other coins.
Here are some UK and European banks that are still friendly to crypto.
Revolut started out as a banking service institution in Britain in 2015 and quickly grew into one of the biggest Bitcoin-friendly banks in the UK and Europe. Recently expanding to the US and Japan, this digital-only bank currently serves 18 million personal users in 35+ countries.
Revolut allows individuals and businesses to deal with crypto directly through the app, facilitating the entire exchange. More importantly, it saves your digital assets in cold storage with trusted custodians, so there is no danger of your private keys getting exposed.
In addition to Bitcoin, this London-based bank supports over 30 currencies and offers key services such as personal loans, stock trading and analytics.
Bankera is a relatively new player on the market, offering crypto-friendly services to all its customers. Promoting what they call a “bank account alternative”, Bankera provides users with personal IBANs which permit them to deposit and withdraw funds from cryptocurrency exchange SpectroCoin. It further allows clients to convert BTC to EUR and deposit it to their debit cards.
What’s more, the bank provides crypto-backed loans to businesses that use their cryptocurrency assets as collateral, making Bankera one of the most Bitcoin business-friendly banks.
On top of these, it offers traditional banking, including business loans, interbank foreign exchange and brokerage services. It supports over 40 currencies and does not charge any fees on transactions.
It may not give you money for opening an account, but London-based Wirex is one of the best banks that supports both crypto and fiat currencies.
With Wirex, you will get a Visa debit card linked to your account so you can convert and spend crypto anywhere you want. You are also entitled to 2% WXT cashback (or cryptoback) every time you use your card for in-store or online shopping.
The bank, available in 130 countries worldwide, allows you to manage multiple currencies, converting to the local currency whenever you make payments abroad. Even better, it does not charge any extra fees for this service.
Most importantly, Wirex is fully regulated by the FCA, so no worries on the security front.
Nuri (formerly Bitwala) is a German bank that combines the best of traditional banking and crypto investments. As a Nuri user, you will get access to a German IBAN and a Visa debit card as well as a Bitcoin address so you can send BTC directly to your wallet.
If you are interested in holding BTC, Nuri is the best bank to partner with. It provides a 5% interest a year on your Bitcoin savings, paid out weekly. There is also an option to automate your investments in cryptocurrencies every month or week. The only downside is that the bank supports just Ethereum and Bitcoin; however, it has plans to include more coins in the future.
This BTC-friendly bank provides insured and fixed deposits and checking accounts, and it has a low 1% trading fee.
Currently, banks in the United States do not allow customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. That said, there are some institutions that let you get involved in BTC and other crypto as well.
These are some of them.
Ally Bank is one of the most Bitcoin-friendly banks in the US as it allows customers to link their accounts to Coinbase and purchase crypto with their Ally debit cards. It also lets clients invest in funds that own Bitcoin, like the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) or Bitcoin futures ETFs, such as the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO).
In addition to crypto-related services, Ally Bank provides traditional banking, savings products, home financing and B2B lending. As an online bank, it operates 24/7 and has an extensive network of ATMs across the US.
USAA (United Services Automobile Association) is another US financial institution on the list of Coinbase friendly banks. Although the Texas-based bank works primarily with service members of the US Army and their families, it provides traditional banking services, auto loans and insurance to civilians as well.
This Fortune 500 company was the first major bank to invest in Coinbase and is still one of the leading investors in the cryptocurrency exchange. Thanks to its Coinbase integration, the bank’s clients can link their accounts to the platform and monitor their crypto balance directly from the USAA app.
Founded in 1869, Goldman Sachs provides lending, savings and investment solutions to thousands of clients worldwide.
This Wall Street titan has a mixed history with crypto. They initially planned to offer clients the ability to trade in BTC and other currencies; however, crypto regulation in the US paused the development. In 2021, the multinational bank re-opened their crypto trading desk, supporting trade of Bitcoin futures. They are also considering offering a Bitcoin ETF within their US Global Markets division.
While many countries in Asia have banned crypto, several banks in the region are open to embracing blockchain technology and digital currencies.
Singapore-based DBS Bank is the largest bank in Southeast Asia and one of the few traditional banks that accept bitcoin in that region.
The bank uses blockchain technology to provide tokenisation, trading and a custody ecosystem for digital assets. In practice, it enables trading between four fiat currencies (SGD, USD, HKD, and JPY) and four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple.
In February 2022, DBS Bank announced that it plans to expand their digital assets trading platform to include retail investors as well. Previously, the exchange was limited to institutional and accredited investors, as well as DBS Vickers (the bank’s brokerage arm) and the DBS Private Bank.
Below are some factors to consider when choosing crypto-friendly banks in the UK.
The fact that it is easy to make an irreversible payment also means that it can be much more difficult to fix things if something goes wrong from a security perspective. So the security level that the crypto bank offers must be a top priority when investing your money.
Look for a bank with a long track record in the cryptocurrency ecosystem that hasn’t faced any major hacking incidents.
This is a new technology, so it’s only natural that not many people are familiar with it. That’s why you need a bank that provides a user-friendly interface or app, making it easier to track and monitor your crypto transactions.
Fees are always an area of interest when people get involved in cryptocurrency trading. This is because users don’t want to pay a high fee every time they switch between crypto and fiat.
However, keep in mind that you will not always get exactly what you paid for in the banking industry. Nothing wrong with wanting to pay low fees, but make sure you are not sacrificing other aspects such as security in exchange for saving some money.
Bitcoin may be the most popular, but it’s far from being the only coin out there. Before you open an account with any of the best crypto-friendly banks in the world, look into the cryptocurrencies they support so you can diversify your portfolio. Also, take a look at the number of fiat currencies accepted. Some banks support as many as 30 different currencies, which would allow you to do business in every corner of the world.
As the cryptocurrency market matures, an increasing number of financial institutions are opening up to it.
Do your research and choose a crypto-friendly bank that meets your individual or business requirements. With the right financial institution, you can enjoy all the benefits of cryptocurrency while still having access to traditional banking services.
Banks are afraid of crypto because it can lead to ripples across the financial sector, and it will likely decentralise banking services and create a large number of micro-markets.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have also been associated with funding of illegal activities and terrorism, particularly on the dark web—another reason why banks across the world do not want to deal with crypto.
A cryptocurrency exchange is a platform that allows users to trade digital currencies for other assets, including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and regular currencies, such as the U.S. dollar and the Euro. Right now, Binance, one of the biggest crypto exchanges, has been banned from operating in the UK, while many otherwise crypto-friendly banks have disengaged from Coinbase, another big exchange platform.
My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.