650 US banks will soon be able to buy and sell bitcoin like fiats.

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Enterprise payment giant NCR, on June 30 shook hands with digital asset manager NYDIG to open the gates for 650 US banks and credit unions to offer Bitcoin purchase options to their clients. In this one-of-a-kind agreement, community banks and credit unions will be able to provide bitcoin trading to their consumers via mobile apps developed by NCR without having to cope with regulatory hurdles.

Prior to this, with the exception of a few Wall Street financial titans, the bulk of banks abstained from delivering any crypto-related services due to regulatory concerns. This agreement removes that barrier since NYDIG will function as the custodian for these institutions, allowing roughly 24 million consumers access. Customers may now buy and spend Bitcoin straight from their banks, eliminating the requirement for a third-party exchange. According to Douglas Brown, NCR’s president of digital banking:

“We’re firm believers in the benefits of crypto and its strategic applications. And that’s true for our banking relationships, as witnessed by NYDIG, and across retailers as well as restaurants and the like.”

The Atlanta-based company was compelled to make this choice due to rising customer demand for cryptocurrency assets. The payment giant was eager to capitalise on the demand from banks and credit unions that were tired of seeing cryptocurrency purchases made from their accounts to third-party exchanges. This collaboration now puts these institutions in direct competition with crypto exchanges that previously held a market monopoly.

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Stone Ridge co-founder Yan Zhao, who joined NYDIG as president in December 2020 said:

“A lot of these banks have seen that one of the biggest outflows from their depositors is moving money from the bank to exchanges like Coinbase…And so that’s part of why banks are so excited to have this capability for themselves and for their consumers.”

As of March 2021, NYDIG’s crypto portfolio was worth about $6 billion, including at least 30,000 bitcoins worth $1 billion owned by its parent business, Stone Ridge Holdings Group. According to the company, this agreement allows them to provide bitcoin services to about 70% of US institutions.

This isn’t NCR’s first foray into the cryptosphere; the company previously collaborated with crypto payment provider Flexa to let customers at convenience chain Sheetz’s 600 locations to pay for petrol and other items in Bitcoin and other altcoins.

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