Avanti introduces crypto-friendly bank in Wyoming. The Wyoming State Banking Board voted 8-0 to grant the financial institution a bank charter, according to an announcement from Avanti on Oct 28. The approval allows for Avanti to operate the new crypto-friendly bank under the name Avanti Bank & Trust as well as its “tokenized U.S. dollar” Avit, designed to modernize USD payments.
Avanti said it planned to open for customers in early 2021, but will be limited to high minimum balance accounts. Retail clients will have to wait. “Avanti’s process from company formation to application to charter is lightning fast,” founder and CEO Caitlin Long said. “Typically bank charters take 1-2 years from start to finish, but ours took 10 months. We recognize that time is of the essence and we needed to move fast, since the crypto market moves quickly.”
“Wyoming’s regulators are the only bank regulators that have a supervisory and regulatory oversight program nearly in place. All other states, and the OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency], are not yet ready to supervise banks engaging in digital asset activities.”
In July, shortly before the bank announced it would release Avit, the Wyoming Banking Division first approved Avanti ‘s application for a bank charter. The firm stated it would issue Avit on Bitcoin’s Liquid sidechain as well as the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain and will consider issuing it “on other blockchains in the future.”
San Francisco-based crypto exchange Kraken received a Wyoming bank charter back in September. This makes it the first cryptocurrency business allowed to operate as a bank in the United States.