Silvergate Now Counts 850 Crypto Clients, But Profit Halved YoY

The crypto-friendly lender said it maintains a pipeline of more than 200 potential customers.

Silvergate Bank, a crypto-friendly lender that counts major crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken as clients, earned $4.4 million in Q1 2020, according to its latest filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Net income for the quarter was 22 percent higher from $3.6 million in the Sep-Dec quarter of 2019, but over a yearly basis it dropped -53 percent from $9.4 million in the same period a year ago.

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However, the California-based bank revealed that during the three months through March 2020 its crypto-related clients grew to 850, from 804 in Q4 2019 and 617 at the end of March 2019. Silvergate added that it maintains a pipeline of more than 200 potential customers.

In terms of fees earned from those clients, adding 46 new ‘Digital currency customers’ in Q1 helped the bank increase related income to $1.7 million, compared to $1.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. On a yearly basis, crypto fees nearly doubled from $0.9 million it booked in the first quarter of 2019.

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The crypto bank also acknowledges a first quarter increase in number of transactions handled by its Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN), which rose to 31,405 compared to 14,400 transactions in the previous quarter. This figure is also four times higher than the 7,097 transactions set back in the first quarter of 2019.

Shares up on the earnings news

In terms of value, the global payments platform, which now supports cash purchases of cryptocurrencies through wire transfers, experienced growth in excess of 90 percent thanks to higher volumes of bitcoin trades. Specifically, the SEN handled $17.4 billion of U.S. dollar transfers in the first quarter, compared to $9.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019, and $4.1 billion in the first quarter of 2019.

Silvergate, which is trading under the ticker (NYSE: $SI), further details: “The increase in total deposits from the prior quarter was driven by an increase in deposit levels from our digital currency customers who maintained excess capital with Silvergate as a result of the dislocation taking place in the digital currency markets during March. The increase in total deposits from March 31, 2019 includes a net increase of $141.3 million in callable brokered certificates of deposit associated with the hedging strategy, as well as changes in deposit levels related to our digital currency customers.”

Shares of Silvergate climbed ten percent on the news, currently exchanging hands at $15.75, with a market value of about $290 million, up 31 percent from its IPO price of $12 per share.

Due to the long-standing passion of its CEO, Silvergate is arguably the leading bank for crypto startups in the U.S. The local three-branch lender has opened up nearly 61 accounts for big US exchanges such as Coinbase, Paxos, bitFlyer, Gemini, and Kraken – a move that made its assets shot up last year from $978 million to $1.7 billion.

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