The crypto industry may be suffering from a regulatory crackdown in the U.S., but that’s not preventing Kraken from seeking to launch its own bank.
The current regulatory climate isn’t scaring Kraken.
The crypto exchange’s chief legal officer Marco Santori confirmed on The Scoop podcast that Kraken would soon be launching its own bank. “Kraken Bank is very much on track to launch, very soon,” he stated. “We’re going to have those pens with the little ball chains. We’re going to order thousands of them and attach them to the desks of Wall Street banks everywhere. With our logo.”
Kraken initially secured the State of Wyoming’s approval to form a Special Purpose Depository Institution (SPDI) in 2020. According to the company, Kraken Bank was the “first digital asset company in U.S. history to receive a bank charter recognized under federal and state law,” and will be the first regulated U.S. bank to provide “comprehensive deposit-taking, custody and fiduciary services for digital assets.”
Kraken Bank, headquartered in Cheyenne, was originally scheduled to launch in 2021, and then to launch in phases through 2022. Santori’s comments suggest that, despite setbacks and delays, Kraken Bank may finally be within reach. The bank indicated that its services would first be rolled out to existing U.S.-based Kraken clients, with a potential international expansion in the future. The bank is not planning on providing in-person services, instead keeping all operations online and via mobile devices.
Santori also addressed the regulatory crackdown the crypto industry is currently facing in the United States. Kraken recently reached a $30 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over its staking program, which it was ordered to shut down in the U.S. Crypto leaders have also accused the government of trying to cut off the crypto industry from the banking industry by putting pressure on banks themselves.
“We’re returning to an era where banks are going to be very cautious as to what accounts they open,” said Santori. “Wall Street is going to be fine. Kraken and Coinbase are going to be okay. But the guy or gal who has a new idea about how to provide infrastructure to the crypto economy, it’s going to be a really tough road over the next few years for them. No question.”