Kraken is the first cryptocurrency firm to become a bank.
On Wednesday, the Wyoming Banking Board voted to approve the San Francisco-based crypto exchange’s application for a special purpose depository institution (SPDI) charter. Kraken is the first SPDI bank in Wyoming and according to the Wyoming Division of Banking’s general counsel, Chris Land, Kraken will also be the first newly chartered (de novo) bank in the state since 2006.
“By becoming a bank we get direct access to federal payments infrastructure, and we can more seamlessly integrate banking and funding options for customers,” said David Kinitsky, a managing director at Kraken and the CEO of the newly formed Kraken Financial. (Kinitsky has run Grayscale Investments, was the first digital assets hire at Fidelity, and was most recently head of business development at payments startup Circle.)
In the wake of a July letter from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency giving