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Avanti Bank Trust wins the Bitcoin Banking Charter with undivided votes

Photo of: Sangeetha Golchha
by Sangeetha Golchha

Caitlin Long, a finance Veteran with experience of more than 20 years in Wall Street, and who has also headed Morgan Stanley’s Pension advisory group, has all reasons to smile. The current CEO and founder of Avanti Bank & Trust  Caitilin Long, were to attend a joint Zoom call from her Wyoming office. The Zoom call was to seal the fate of Avanti while the decision was to be made about a new kind of bank that will handle both bitcoin and dollars. This was to be decided by the Wyoming Division of Banking. 

While the meeting was on and as one-by-one the participants were approved, it had been 13 minutes into the meeting already. Right after that Lawton made a formal announcement,

“The Wyoming state banking board has approved the granting of the Avanti Financial Group Inc special-purpose depository institution, or bank for short.”

This is no small feat and a major victory for the Bitcoin industry, especially which was trying hard to get access to the traditional bank accounts. When Long was moved from New York to Wyoming, she decided that it was upon her attempts that Wyoming could be converted into Silicon Valley for cryptocurrencies. The state lawmakers have been working constantly to provide a fine foundation for the Special Purpose Depository Institution (SDPI) regulations which was also the underlying root for initiating today’s decisions. Long’s entry into this space has added an air of sheen and with credibility that motivates this line of the institution. In an interview Long said:

“This is a two and a half year process that has culminated in the vote today. I really do appreciate the extent to which you dug in and asked us very probing questions and made us defend our position and we really look forward to working with all of you in the future. It’s a long time coming.”

With this decision Cheyenne, Avant’s Wyoming division will be able to take custody of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in line with what Coinbase does. It will hold dollars on deposit at the Federal Reserve making it easier for crypto companies to get traditional accounts to cover their taxes and payrolls. The news of a second SDPI bank comes 6-weeks after cryptocurrency exchange Kraken got its approval in September. 

Bitcoin has seemingly everything going well for it. Last week PayPal announced that it will allow the huge base of its customers the convenience to be able to purchase Bitcoin in its app. Square and Microstrategy have already announced their investment in Bitcoin purchasing adding the oldest and the most versatile crypto thor kitty.

The bank launch is likely to take place next year after it coordinates with Wyoming’s department of banking to get the certificate of authority to operate. The meeting was concluded by Fred Rife, the interim director of the Wyoming Division of audit, and appreciated the role of banking to give way to this innovative idea. He said:

“They’re out on the leading edge and they’re doing things that nobody else in the country’s been asked to do at this point.”