In September 2020, Kraken became the first digital asset firm in the US to receive a bank charter — authorizing the company to operate as a bank. This makes Kraken Bank the first crypto bank in US history.
David Kinitsky, the CEO of Kraken Bank, said in a Cheddar News interview that they applied for a bank charter in order to access traditional banking systems for their clients. This allows their US clients to bank seamlessly between digital assets and national currencies. It also offers digital asset custody, demand/deposit accounts, and wire transfer and funding services.
Kinitsky remarked that Kraken Bank was created as part of the company’s vision to actively promote the adoption of cryptocurrencies, as well as financial and economic freedom.
Kraken Bank is expected to be rolled out to Kraken customers and commence operation during Q3 of 2021.
Users of Kraken Bank will have access to services similar to traditional banking, except that it involves mostly cryptocurrencies. This includes statement checking, payroll processing, cash-to-crypto conversion, trading in crypto and more.
Founded in 2011, Kraken is one of the oldest crypto exchanges in the US. Kraken is available in 176 countries and has around 40 cryptocurrencies listed. The company helped the investors recover their missing Bitcoins during the Mt. Gox bankruptcy back in 2014-15.