As a cryptocurrency investor or trader, using a crypto friendly bank is crucial.
If not using a crypto friendly bank, you are exposed to the risk of getting your account frozen or permanently suspended if the bank suspects you are buying or selling crypto.
Over the years, many major financial institutions and online banks have announced their support for the cryptocurrency space.
This guide aims to compare these crypto friendly banks to help you decide which one suits you best.
Best Crypto Friendly Banks Compared
Bank Countries Key Feature Open Account
Wirex Not available in the US and China Built-in crypto exchange Revolut Not available to US citizens Built-in crypto exchange Fidor Only available to EU citizens Partnership with Kraken and Bitcoin.de Goldman Sachs Worldwide Very established bank Simple Bank Only available to US citizens FDIC insured deposits Ally Bank Only available to US citizens Integrated with Coinbase USAA Only USA Integrated with Coinbase Barclays Available in 50+ countries Integrated with Coinbase LHV Bank Only available to EU citizens Great mobile app Monaize Only available to EU citizens Simple account set-up process Change Bank Only available to EU citizens Built-in crypto wallet and exchange
Top Crypto Friendly Banks
Wirex is a UK based cryptocurrency wallet that enables you to seamlessly exchange 25+ cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies. Some of the cryptocurrencies supported by Wirex include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and Dai.
- 0.5% cashback in Bitcoin
- 25+ cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies supported
- Built-in cryptocurrency exchange
- Not available in the US and China
- Shipping of the debit card can take 2+ weeks
Wirex also offers a debit card which makes it possible to also spend the USD, EUR or GBP on your Wirex account with any merchant. The debit card gives a 0.5% cashback in Bitcoin for every purchase made.
Further, similarly to a regular bank account, Wirex also enables you to send your funds through a wire transfer.
The fees are slightly higher than at the average bank account, however, the ability to convert crypto frictionlessly to fiat and then sending that value through a wire transfer makes up for it
Wirex is currently available in most major countries, excluding the United States and China, unfortunately.
Last but not least, It’s important to note that Wirex holds an e-money license granted by the FCA and is hence also fully regulated.
Founded back in 2009, Fidor is a very established German online bank. The bank is based in Munich and has established relationships with major cryptocurrency titans like Kranken, Ledger, and Bitcoin.de.
- Fast transfers and withdrawals from Kraken and Bitcoin.de
- Up to 2 free cash withdrawals per month
- Fixed 1.5% fee for debit card transactions
- Only available to EU citizens
- Extensive identity verification process to set-up account
These partnerships enable Fidor’s clients to seamlessly buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies without having to worry about friction points with the bank itself, like long waiting times or frozen transactions.
Although opening a Fidor is currently only available to citizens in the EU, the free debit card that comes with the bank account can be used in any country worldwide.
The account offers cash withdrawals free of cost up to twice per month, after that, a fixed 2€ fee is charged. Using the debit card comes with a fixed fee of 1.5% per transaction.
Launched back in 2015, Revolut is now one of the largest digital banks worldwide with over 2 million users all around the globe. Although Revolut started out without a banking license, it now has one and is fully regulated in the UK.
- Very simple to use
- Built-in cryptocurrency exchange
- Established and regulated bank
- 2% fee for ATM withdrawals above $300 per month
- Built-in crypto exchange charges high spreads
It’s important to note that Revolut is currently not available for US citizens, but according to the company homepage, it’s planning to soon cater US customers as well.
Revolut is a crypto friendly bank for two reasons.
First of all, it has no issues with its clients sending and receiving transactions from cryptocurrency exchanges.
And secondly, Revolut actually has a cryptocurrency exchange built into its very own app that enables the seamless conversion from USD, EUR, and GBP to major cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, XRP, and BCH.
Opening a Revolut account is free and a “basic” debit card is included when opening the account. However, ATM withdrawals over $300 per month come with a 2% fee and international transactions over $6,500 are charged a 0.5% fee.
After publishing a statement titled “Is Bitcoin a Bursting Bubble?”, financial titan Goldman Sachs didn’t exactly make the impression that it was interested in embracing cryptocurrencies.
- Highly established and respected firm
- Available all around the globe
- Offers advanced financial services like loans
- Not as frictionless as newer “online banks”
- No partnerships with cryptocurrency exchanges
However, shortly after, as institutional interest in the asset class started picking up, the bank publicly stated that “Bitcoin is not a fraud” and that it is planning to open a trading desk for the currency.
Headquartered in New York, Goldman Sachs is currently available in most countries around the globe and offers financial services ranging from bank accounts, debit and credit cards, loans, and investment banking.
Launched back in 2009 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Simple bank is one of the few crypto friendly banks that has its deposits fully FDIC insured. This means that your funds are safe no matter what happens to the bank or the general economy.
- Simple to use mobile app
- Low 1% fee on international debit card transactions
- Fully FDIC insured deposits
- Only available to US citizens
- Not clear which crypto exchanges the bank is partnered with
The bank’s connection to the cryptocurrency space arises from its partnership with multiple cryptocurrency exchanges.
This enables Simple Bank’s users to easily buy and sell crypto without having to worry about trouble with the Bank’s compliance department.
Although Simple Bank offers a wide range of financial services like loans and money management services, it is unfortunately only available to US citizens.
Simple Bank charges no monthly fees and only international transactions with your debit card are charged a 1 percent commission.
Ally Bank is a full-fledged bank not only offering regular banking services, but also home loans, auto finance and investing vehicles. It does not charge any monthly fees or requires any minimum deposit amounts.
- Integrated with Coinbase
- No monthly fees or minimum deposits
- Up to 2.75% annual interest
- Only available to US citizens
The bank is partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which enables the bank’s customers to easily buy and sell crypto right with their Ally Bank credit or debit card.
It’s also important to note that although Ally Bank is headquartered in the US, it does not have any formal offices there and operates in a completely digital manner. Unfortunately, the bank can also only serve citizens of the United States.
USAA was founded back in 1983 and now serves over 6 million customers worldwide. The bank’s offering of financial products ranges from banking to insurance and loans.
- Fully integrated with Coinbase
- Established and trustworthy bank
- Commission-free withdrawals from 60,000+ ATMs
- Clunky user interface in contrast to alternatives like Revolut and Wirex
After investing in the Series C round of Coinbase, the USAA officially made clear that it was going to make it easy for its customers to interact with this asset class.
USAA is now fully integrated with Coinbase and even enables its customers to view their cryptocurrency balance right from their USAA bank account.
Finally, the bank does not require any minimum balance for its saving account and enables its customers to withdraw funds from 60,000+ ATMs at zero cost.
LHV Bank is headquartered in Estonia and has been cryptocurrency friendly ever since its launch back in 1999. LHV offers bank accounts to all EU citizens.
- Fully integrated with Coinbase
- Excellent mobile app
- Low 1.5% fee for debit and credit card transactions
- Regulated in a country with very relaxed banking laws
- Only available to EU citizens
Similarly to Ally Bank and USAA, LHV Bank is also partnered with Coinbase.
This makes transactions between Coinbase and LHV Bank much faster and also ensures that there won’t be any hiccups with the bank’s compliance team.
LHV charges a fixed 1.2% fee for all credit and debit cards transactions, and no other fees. Further, in addition to private accounts, the firm also offers accounts to companies registered in Estonia.
The only potential downside to the bank is the fact that it is based and regulated in Estonia, which is known for its relaxed banking laws that have often resulted in money laundering issues.
Founded back in 1896 and with a 25 Billion USD valuation, Barclays is one of the most established banks in the world and a true giant in the finance world.
- One of the largest and oldest banks in the world
- Partnered with Coinbase
- Available in 50+ countries
- Extensive identity verification process
- Clunky user experience
- No ATM network
In addition to great terms for a savings account, Barclays also offers investment banking and loans to its clientele in 50+ countries worldwide.
Barclays offers an attractive 2.10% APY on savings but unfortunately does not have its own ATM network like many other banks do.
The bank’s involvement with cryptocurrencies started back in 2018 when it partnered with Coinbase to make it easier for its clients to buy and sell cryptocurrency.
However, Barclays involvement in the cryptocurrency space did not stop there.
The bank now also owns two patents in cryptocurrency which aim to make cryptocurrency payments simpler and also to process information more effectively with the use of blockchain technology.
Change Bank resembles more a cryptocurrency exchange than a traditional bank. It enables its users to store a wide range of cryptocurrencies and also to exchange some major ones like BTC, ETH, and XRP, but always without involving fiat currency.
- Great user interface
- Seamless built-in cryptocurrency exchange
- Backed by reputable investors
- No banking license until 2020
- Exact terms of banking services still unclear
The firm is registered in Singapore and aims to have a European Banking license by 2020, which is when it will be able to offer traditional banking services to its clientele.
Founded in Paris in 2018, Monaize is one of the few French cryptocurrency friendly banks. The firm ended its ICO in late 2019 and is still working on the details of getting its banking solutions live.
- Cryptocurrency native bank
- Bank account terms are very vague
- Not open to the public yet
- Only available in the EU
At the time of writing, the bank is only taking clients inside the EU. However, according to its homepage, it’s also planning to expand to other countries in the near future.
The account set-up process is among the most intuitive in the space, mainly due to its speedy identity verification system which is going to take just hours until approved.
How to pick the right cryptocurrency friendly bank?
Although there are many cryptocurrency friendly banks out there, that does not mean that they will all be a good fit for you.
Here are some factors that you will need to consider to find the best cryptocurrency friendly bank for you:
- Geographic limitations: Is the bank account available in your country of residence?
- Fees: Do you find the fees charged by the bank to be attractive?
- Account restrictions: Does the account offer the deposit/withdrawal limits that you need?
Obviously, another factor to consider is how legitimate you consider a bank to be. However, that’s a factor that is much harder to quantify.
What are the risks of not using a crypto friendly bank?
Banks that don’t explicitly mention that they are cryptocurrency friendly can cause a lot of trouble to cryptocurrency investors and traders.
If the bank detects transfers from cryptocurrency exchanges, like when you cash out some crypto, or transfers towards cryptocurrency exchanges, like when you buy some crypto, your account may be frozen.
Once your account is frozen, the bank may require you to precisely explain the source of your funds and what the purpose of the cryptocurrency purchase was.
Unfortunately, very often the bank may choose to permanently close your account regardless of your response to meet the guidelines set by its compliance department.
This, not only causes trouble because you will have to open a new bank account, but your funds may also be frozen for a period of time, leaving you without access to the money.
Hence, if you are going to buy or sell a cryptocurrency, make sure that you are doing so through a crypto friendly bank.
CoinDiligent Staff Writer