The Wyoming State Banking Board voted unanimously to grant Avanti a bank charter.
According to an Oct. 28 announcement from Avanti, The Wyoming State Banking Board voted 8-0 to grant the financial institution a bank charter. The approval will allow Avanti to operate the new crypto-friendly bank under the name Avanti Bank & Trust as well as its “tokenized U.S. dollar” Avit, designed to modernize USD payments.
Avanti said it planned to open for customers in early 2021, but will be limited to high minimum balance accounts. Retail clients will have to wait.
“Avanti’s process from company formation to application to charter is lightning fast,” founder and CEO Caitlin Long told Cointelegraph. “Typically bank charters take 1-2 years from start to finish, but ours took 10 months. We recognize that time is of the essence and we needed to move fast, since the crypto market moves quickly.”
“Wyoming’s regulators are the only bank regulators that have a supervisory and regulatory oversight program nearly in place. All other states, and the OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency], are not yet ready to supervise banks engaging in digital asset activities.”
The Wyoming Division of Banking first accepted Avanti’s application for a bank charter in July, shortly before the bank announced it would be releasing Avit. The firm stated it would issue Avit on Bitcoin’s Liquid sidechain as well as the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain and will consider issuing it “on other blockchains in the future.”
In September, San Francisco-based crypto exchange Kraken received a Wyoming bank charter, making it the first cryptocurrency business allowed to operate as a bank in the United States.