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Top 4 Crypto-Friendly Digital Banks In 2024

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While some may perceive the primary goal of cryptocurrencies as the elimination of banks altogether, the truth is that they continue to play a crucial role as the primary fiat gateway for the majority of crypto investors and traders.

While traditional physical banks may lag behind in embracing cryptocurrencies, numerous digital-only neobanks have swiftly stepped in to bridge this gap. As a result, many users have opted for these services to facilitate their crypto transactions and access related services.

In this article, let’s explore the top 4 leading crypto-friendly digital banks, tailored to different regions around the globe.

Monzo

Monzo is a challenger bank based in London that offers a mobile-friendly alternative to traditional banks. With a user base exceeding 7 million as of January 2023, Monzo has publicly expressed its openness to cryptocurrencies.

However, akin to traditional banks, Monzo does not offer native cryptocurrency services. Instead, it permits fund transfers solely to regulated crypto exchanges within the UK, such as Coinbase.

Furthermore, Monzo’s services are exclusively available to individuals residing in the UK with valid UK addresses.

Ally Bank

Ally Bank is a competitive online bank established in 2009. It offers attractive interest rates on savings accounts and other deposit options, along with a vast ATM network for convenient cash access. Importantly, Ally Bank is FDIC-insured, insuring your deposits up to $250,000.

While the bank does not directly trade cryptocurrencies, it caters to crypto enthusiasts by offering investment products like crypto trusts and stocks related to the crypto market. Additionally, they allow easy transfers to licensed crypto exchanges.

Wirex

Presenting itself as a “Web3 money app,” Wirex emphasizes its array of cryptocurrency-related offerings. Its whitepaper, last updated more than a year ago, underscores its commitment to developing products that amalgamate elements from both decentralized finance (DeFi) and traditional finance (TradFi).

While the platform stands out as a prominent player in the crypto payments industry, it’s important to note that it operates independently from traditional banking institutions and therefore lacks the protection afforded by state-backed deposit insurance.

Despite this, Wirex currently operates in over 40 countries and has recently forged a long-term global partnership with Visa, aiming to expand its presence notably in the Asia-Pacific region and the UK.

Revolut

Revolut, a neobank and financial technology company established in 2015 and headquartered in London, has garnered significant popularity, boasting a customer base exceeding 18 million globally. Its services are accessible to residents of various regions including the European Economic Area, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, the UK, and the US.

Much like Wirex, Revolut’s crypto services operate outside of traditional regulatory and deposit insurance frameworks. Crypto custody is facilitated through cold storage via third-party custodians, ensuring that private keys remain disconnected from the internet. Additionally, users have the option to transfer cryptocurrencies out of the app and into their self-custodial wallets.

It’s crucial to note that Revolut’s regulatory status and terms vary depending on the country of operation. In regions where it functions as a bank, it adheres to distinct regulations, while in others, it operates under different regulatory frameworks. Prospective users should review the specific terms and conditions applicable to their respective jurisdictions before signing up.

Why Won’t My Bank Let Me Buy Crypto?

There are several reasons why traditional banks might be restricting their clients from buying cryptocurrencies:

1. Bank policy: Some banks have policies against any transactions involving cryptocurrency due to the perceived high risk and volatility associated with the market.

2. Fraud prevention: Banks might have anti-fraud measures in place that flag crypto purchases as suspicious activity, especially if they are large or sudden transactions.

3. Account limitations: Your account might have limitations on certain types of transactions, including online purchases or high-risk activities, which could inadvertently block crypto purchases.

4. Temporary hold: The transaction might be on temporary hold for verification purposes, especially if it’s your first time buying crypto.

Here are some steps you can take to find out why your bank is restricting crypto transactions:

  • Contact your bank directly: This is the best way to get a clear and specific explanation as to why your transaction is being blocked. They might be able to resolve the issue or provide alternative ways to complete the purchase.
  • Review your bank statements and online banking information: Look for any notifications or messages related to the declined transaction that might provide a reason for the block.
  • Check the bank’s website or app: Some banks have information on their website or mobile apps regarding their policies on cryptocurrency transactions.

It’s important to avoid using alternative methods to bypass your bank’s restrictions, as they might involve unregulated platforms or carry higher risks.

Remember, cryptocurrency is a complex and volatile market, so it’s crucial to do your own research and understand the risks involved before making any investment decisions.

Final Thoughts

While platforms offering both fiat and cryptocurrency services remain scarce, it’s reasonable to speculate that online-first and online-only neobanks could lead the charge in embracing cryptocurrency compared to traditional incumbents.

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