It might seem for some that the purpose of crypto is to do away with banks completely, the reality is that they still serve as an essential fiat on and off ramp for a vast majority of crypto holders and traders.
Traditional brick-and-mortar banks may be slow with crypto adoption, but many digital-only neobanks have rushed to fill this gap, and for this reason many users have turned to these online banks for crypto transactions and services.
In this article, let us take a look at the top crypto-friendly digital banks currently available, depending on where you are in the world.
Monzo is a British online bank based in London, being one of the first movers in the digital-only banking sector to challenge traditional players.
The bank is popular with over 7 million users as of January 2023r, and has publicly stated that they are not anti-crypto.
Monzo accounts are fully authorized by the UK government and are insured for up to £85,000 pounds per account.
However, similar to traditional banks, they do not provide native cryptocurrency services and only allow fund transfers to regulated crypto exchanges in the UK such as Coinbase, and for instance don’t support transfers to Binance, which may make Monzo unsuitable for many users.
They are only available to those who are based in the UK and have a valid UK address.
2. Ally Bank
Ally Bank is another online bank based in Utah, founded in 2009, currently boasting 11 million customers and $154 billion in deposits.
It offers competitive interest rates on its savings account, money market accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).
It also is part of a fee-free ATM network, with over 43,000 ATMs available to make cash withdrawals from.
Ally bank is FDIC-insured, meaning all deposits up to $250,000 per depositor for each qualifying account category is protected.
Ally bank is one of the more crypto-friendly online banks out there – though they don’t offer spot crypto trading directly on their platform, they do offer various crypto-based investment products such as crypto trusts, bitcoin futures ETFs, and crypto stocks.
As with most other banks, they also allow fund transfers to regulated crypto exchanges.
Wirex is a mobile payments platform based in London and founded in 2014, which now has over 5 million users.
Wirex is probably the most crypto-centric payment platform in the list, but is not technically a bank and so does not benefit from state-backed deposit insurance.
Wirex markets themselves as a “Web3 money app”, so it is no surprise that they offer a variety of crypto-related products and services.
Though its whitepaper last updated a year ago does state that Wirex will focus on building products that integrate both DeFi and TradFi elements. Currently, Wirex provides services via their mobile and web app, such as exchanges for over 50 fiat and crypto currencies, fiat and crypto payments, as well as various saving, lending, borrowing, and reward programmes like “Cryptoback”s up to 8% with every card purchase. It also has a native token, WXT, which is used for subscription payments and other rewards.
Do note that different products are regulated differently, with their fiat services regulated by the Bank of Lithuania, while their crypto-related offerings are not. Deposits are “safeguarded” as e-money but this does not carry the same guarantees as government-backed deposit insurance schemes.
Wirex is currently available in over 40 countries, and recently signed a long-term global partnership with Visa to expand its footprint in the Asia-Pacific region and the UK.
Revolut is a neobank and fintech company founded in 2015 based in London.
Revolut is very popular, with over 18 million customers worldwide as it is available to residents of the European Economic Area, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, the UK and the US.
The bank has a suite of crypto services, including buying, selling, and transferring crypto directly from the app, price alerts, crypto learn and earn programs.They also offer easy investing with crypto “collections”, which are indices of the 100+ available cryptocurrencies grouped into different sectors like “Layer 1s”, “Gaming”, “DeFi”, and more.
Similar to Wirex, its crypto services are also not regulated or deposit-insured. Crypto custody is provided with cold storage via third party custodians, where private keys are not connected to the internet. You can also transfer crypto out of the app and into your own self-custodial wallet.
In the other countries where it is available, it is not a bank and regulated differently — be sure to check the specific terms and conditions relevant to you if you are planning to sign up.
Granted there are not very many platforms around which provide a one-stop shop for fiat and crypto services.
However it may be a fair bet that online-first and online-only neobanks might be faster to adopt crypto than traditional incumbents.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
They offer digital wallets, custody solutions and cryptocurrency exchanges to buy, sell, store and manage digital assets.
No. These digital banks will only be available depending on where you live provided you have a valid address to sign up.
No. Traditional deposit insurances like the FDIC insurance, are not likely provided for crypto assets.