By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
The nation’s second bank dedicated to handling digital assets and easing transactions between digital assets and the American dollar has won approval to operate in Wyoming.
The Wyoming Banking Board voted 8-0 on Wednesday to approve the charter of the Avanti Bank & Trust, the company announced.
Avanti is the nation’s second digital asset bank to win approval to open in Wyoming. Kraken Financial won charter recognition from both state and federal regulators in September.
Like Kraken, Avanti will have the same powers as a national bank in its approved business lines and will provide several services, including dealing in its own product known as “Avit” to ease the exchange between digital currencies — such as Bitcoin — and dollars.
The bank’s primary job will be to serve as a bridge between digital asset systems and systems that rely on traditional U.S. dollars, said Caitlin Long, Avanti’s founder.
Long, a Wyoming native, was deeply involved in legislative efforts that led to Wyoming becoming the first state in the nation to develop rules to regulate “Blockchain” technology, a digital ledger system.
Her work led in 2019 to legislative approval of a bill allowing the creation of “Special Purpose Depository Institutions” for the handling of cryptocurrency transactions.
Wyoming’s work has made it the only state in the nation where banks working with both digital and traditional assets can operate, Long said in a prepared statement.
“Currently, the only type of U.S. financial institution that can provide final and simultaneous settlement of trades between digital assets and the U.S. dollar—because it is the only type currently approved to handle both within the same legal entity—is a Wyoming special purpose depository institution like Avanti,” she said. “Wyoming has the only U.S. regulator with a bank supervisory and regulatory program for digital assets that is near completion.”
Avanti’s approved products and services include the issuing of Avit and serving as a depository for for digital assets.
The company plans to begin opening commercial accounts in 2021 and will open other types of accounts with high minimum balance requirements soon after, Long said.