29 July 2022 • 7 min read
Cryptocurrencies and banks might at first glance appear to be strange bedfellows. After all, FinTech and DeFi are disrupting the traditional banking industry in significant ways. And cryptocurrencies themselves are seen by many as an alternative to fiat.
Nevertheless, as a crypto trader, you might have a number of questions related to crypto and banking. What are the best banks for crypto? Which banks allow cryptocurrency transactions? Are there crypto-friendly banks in the US? Or crypto-friendly banks in the UK? Or even crypto-friendly banks across the EU?
Well, look no further. We’ve put together a list of crypto-friendly banks, from traditional brick-and-mortar banks and digital banks to digital platforms that bridge the gap between the two.
Crypto-friendly banks are forward-looking financial institutions that allow cryptocurrency transactions: the safe buying, selling, and storing of cryptocurrencies. Not only do crypto-friendly banks accept cryptocurrencies for fiat exchanges (and vice versa), but they typically offer low transaction fees for moving crypto between wallets or exchanging them for fiat as well as make it possible for customers to add crypto to their portfolios in a clear and easy way.
Blockchain technology is revolutionizing the way we make transactions, and many financial institutions are beginning to expand their services by accepting and/or facilitating crypto transactions. Although each bank has a different approach to the crypto space depending on their country or region, some banks have started to serve as a bridge between their clients and cryptocurrency exchanges.
In the case of the United States, it is worth noting that most crypto-friendly banks simply connect you to financial services that offer crypto transactions. They do not necessarily offer direct purchases of cryptocurrency. Below are some of the best crypto-friendly banks in the USA.
Founded in 1828 and formerly known as Provident Bank, BankProv rebranded in 2020 and now wants to be a key provider for crypto companies in need of banking services. As a Protocol article reported, their main crypto clients include crypto software and protocol developers, crypto exchanges, crypto mining operators, large investment firms, and a handful of bitcoin ATM companies.
Banking-as-a-service-support, most recently with Etana Custody
USD banking for crypto native and related businesses
Fully insured online and mobile banking
Ally Bank is an online bank that runs 24/7, allowing crypto enthusiasts in the US to buy and sell cryptocurrencies from exchanges. As with other banks in the US, Ally bank does not allow customers to buy coins to keep in their savings account, but customers can use their debit or credit card to purchase coins from Coinbase. This might not be the same as buying directly, but it's a good first step towards becoming a more crypto-friendly financial institution.
Indirect portfolio exposure to crypto-specific funds and stocks (no coins or wallet needed)
Crypto-specific trusts, futures, and stocks
Easy integration with Coinbase
USAA, United Services Automobile Association, is a Fortune 500 bank based in Texas that allows customers to manage multiple accounts from other banks. While you still can't buy crypto directly with your USAA account (as is the case with many US-based banks), you can integrate your debit or credit card with Coinbase to make crypto transactions.
First major American bank to invest in a cryptocurrency exchange
Coinbase integration, allowing you to monitor your cryptocurrency transactions from your account dashboard
Using blockchain technology to process and settle auto insurance claims with State Farm insurance.
Formerly known as OnJuno, Juno is a mobile payment platform designed to embrace an open banking system, irrespective of location and earnings. Although not a traditional bank, Juno provides integrated crypto and banking services, such as the ability to buy and sell digital currencies without additional fees as well as the option to store crypto directly in your checking account. It even allows the buying, selling, and storing of cryptocurrencies as low as $1.
The USD cash balances are fully protected by FDIC insurance up to $250,000 via their partner bank Evolve Bank & Trust.
Users can earn a 5% cash back on all crypto payments and up to 4% interest on USDC withdrawals at any time.
Users can receive their paycheck in crypto once they set up a direct deposit.
A multinational investment bank, Goldman Sachs is headquartered in New York City. In 2018, it planned to open a trading desk for cryptocurrencies, but soon abandoned the project when Bitcoin dipped below $7,000. However, bitcoin’s subsequent surges rekindled their interest, and Goldman Sachs now has a digital assets team that deals with bitcoin futures and non-deliverables.
First major US bank to offer over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trading
Bitcoin-linked instrument: a non-deliverable option with crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital
Options to diversify portfolio by choosing from various cryptocurrencies
Despite JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon labeling bitcoin as a fraud in 2017, he has had a change of heart in recent years, at least when it comes to the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies. The bank has made substantial investments in DeFi, blockchain technology, and even created JPM Coin, a cryptocurrency to help settle payments between clients in the bank’s wholesale payments business (it’s also the first cryptocurrency backed by a major bank).
JPM Coin, a permissioned system that serves as a payment rail and deposit account ledger
Wealth management clients have access to six crypto funds, including the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust
First bank to open in the metaverse
Cryptocurrencies are classified as property assets and not currency in the UK, but it is legal to own and trade them. While some banks such as Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), and Nationwide allow its customers to use their debit cards to purchase crypto, we wouldn’t exactly classify this as being “crypto-friendly,” which is why they haven’t made our list. If you’re looking for some of the best crypto-friendly banks in the UK, then check out some of the following top picks below.
With about 18 million personal users and 5,000 business users, Revolut positions itself as one of the best crypto-friendly banks in the UK and US. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in London, Revolut provides traditional banking services such as GBP and EUR bank accounts, debit cards, fee-free currency exchange, stock trading, cryptocurrency exchange, and peer-to-peer payments.
Seamless conversion of fiat to crypto
Access to the most popular cryptocurrencies
A 1.5% fee for buying and selling crypto
Founded in the UK in 2015 as Mondo, Monzo is a fully licensed online bank with over 6 million customers. It offers a wide range of banking services and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Buy crypto from a range of exchanges
Founders publicly committed to future crypto investment opportunities
Caveat: the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has issued a consumer warning on Binance, which means Monzo doesn’t allow payments to the exchange right now
Based on its services, Wirex sounds an awful lot like a bank, but isn’t one. Rather, it’s “a digital payment platform” that allows users to buy, store, exchange, and spend crypto and fiat currencies using the Wirex app and/or a Mastercard debit card. It also has its own token, WXT, which includes its loyalty program “Cryptoback” rewards, up to 12% annual Savings Bonus, and additional benefits.
Wirex Wallet: a keyless non-custodial crypto wallet for storing and earning rewards to crypto and NFTs
Cryptoback rewards program on each purchase (2%)
Easy conversion of cryptocurrency-to-fiat payments
Founded in 2021, BVNK provides banking services and payments for crypto-native businesses, who can use the platform to accept payments in cryptocurrencies and fiat, hold 100s of different currencies and crypto assets, and send funds all around the world.
Earn 4-6% yields on all assets on the platform with BNVK’s crypto yield product
Process payments in crypto and fiat with a simple API
Buy, sell, send and receive both fiat currencies, such as EUR, GBP and USD, as well as cryptocurrencies, such as BTC, ETH and USDC
Outside of the Anglo-American banking world, there are a number of banks within the EU offering crypto-related services or options for its customers. Below are some of the more notable ones that our EU-based readers might want to consider.
Dating back to its 1998 founding in Liechtenstein, Bank Frick specializes in banking for financial intermediaries as well as professional clients based primarily in Liechtenstein, Switzerland or the European single market.
Crypto trading and custody in a regulated bank environment
Specialists in blockchain banking
Business accounts for blockchain companies
Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, SEBA Bank is a licensed and supervised Swiss bank providing a bridge between traditional and digital assets. Customers can secure, trade, and manage their crypto, digital assets, and conventional securities all in one place.
Digital asset investment management services
SEBAX Crypto Asset Select Index Tracker
BTC Tracker Certificate(s)
Originally founded in 2018 as Bitwala and rebranded in 2021, Nuri is a mobile banking app that allows users to invest directly in cryptocurrency and the stock market from a German bank account (Solarisbank).
Nuri-held keys or user-held keys cryptocurrency wallets with their Wallets and Vaults
1% trading fee for buying and selling (plus network fees)
In-built crypto tax tool
A berlin-based fintech founded in 2016, Solarisbank is a “banking-as-a-service” platform with a German banking license. Translation: Solarisbank offers banking and financial services. Additionally, they function as a digital asset platform that combines a crypto-custody solution with digital banking services.
Digital banking for retail and business customers
Paperless loans to retail customers
Partner with Solaris Digital Assets to create your own digital asset product
With a focus on providing innovative technologically-driven banking services, Fidor is an online German bank that was established in 2009. A self-described “pioneer” in digital banking, Fidor describes itself as the first to create a bank for cryptocurrencies together with bitcoin.de and Kraken.
Crypto wallet integration with Fidor accounts via API
Retail and business banking
A range of services, including loans, mobile payments, and investments
Based in Geneva, but with offices across the world, Dukascopy Bank is a Swiss online bank and securities dealer regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). They offer a wide range of trading and banking services, including foreign exchange, CFDs for stocks, metals, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies and binary options as well as bank accounts, e-banking, and credit card services.
Collaboration registered Swiss/Lichtenstein digital assets exchange Smart Valor
A range of cryptocurrency trading services
Dukascoin, its own cryptocurrency, for payments and speculation
So there you have it. A trip around the (Western) world in search of crypto-friendly banks. As you can see, there are a variety of different options available for a variety of different needs. Some are established banks, others digital banks, while others still are a bridge between the two.
Given the evolving nature of crypto regulations, more banks will likely enter (or exit) this space, and so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the international regulatory environment, which will likely determine the type and scope of services that banks can (or will) offer to crypto traders in the future.