Fidor and Kraken are expanding their cooperation in bringing digital currency into mainstream banking, announcing an initiative to build the “world’s first crypto-currency bank.”
Fidor is a highly progressive Germany-based online bank, with no physical branches. They have embraced digital currencies through their entering into multiple strategic partnerships during the past 16 months. Just over one year ago, they first partnered with Kraken, providing the exchange with banking facilities for its EU customers.
In their new joint venture, Kraken will supply its trading know-how while Fidor will leverage their position as a regulated financial institution “to set up the world’s first fully regulated and licensed financial services entity in this sector.”
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A “crypto-currency marketplace” would bundle in various products and services, such as payments and trading. It will be interesting to see how far Fidor’s latest foray into crypto-land takes it. With all its crypto-related initiatives to date, it would be something else to see a regulated banking entity blatantly hold onto or transfer bitcoins.
The announcement also emphasizes the venture’s welcoming of additional partners, providing they “have the necessary expertise, a professional set-up (incl. funding) and must be accepting of regulatory rules, as well as restrictions (e.g., anti-money-laundering processes, full customer authentication etc.).” Matthias Kröner, Fidor’s CEO, explained that prospective partners what to gain by joining:
“Due to the fact, that this is an open platform, competitive partners are invited to collaborate on this platform. It should be in the interest of all of us to create a network which is as wide as possible. All partners will be shareholders of this platform, which also means that we will only kick it off with a sufficient group of partners and shareholders.”
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, who is no stranger to thinking outside the box, hopes the initiative will help “other banks thaw out”.