Enterprise payment giant NCR, on June 30 shook hands with digital asset manager NYDIG to open the gates for 650 US banks and credit unions to offer Bitcoin purchase options to their clients. In this one-of-a-kind deal, community banks and credit unions will be able to offer their clients cryptocurrency trading through mobile apps built by NCR without having to deal with regulatory obstacles.
Before this, barring a few Wall Street banking giants, the majority of the banks refrained from offering any crypto-related services amid regulatory concerns. This deal gets rid of that barrier as NYDIG would act as the custodian for these banks, thus, opening the gates for nearly 24 million customers. This enables customers to directly purchase and spend BTC from their banks without the need for third-party exchange. Douglas Brown, NCR president of digital banking said:
“We’re firm believers in the benefits of crypto and its strategic applications. And that’s true for our banking relationships, as witnessed by NYDIG, and across retailers as well as restaurants and the like.”
The Atlanta-based enterprise was pushed to make this decision amid the growing demand for crypto assets from clients. The payment giant was quick to capitalize on the demand from banks and credit unions that were tired of witnessing crypto-purchases made from their accounts to outside exchanges. Now, this partnership puts these institutions in direct competition with crypto exchanges that had their market monopoly.
Stone Ridge co-founder Yan Zhao, who joined NYDIG as president in December 2020 said:
“A lot of these banks have seen that one of the biggest outflows from their depositors is moving money from the bank to exchanges like Coinbase…And so that’s part of why banks are so excited to have this capability for themselves and for their consumers.”
NYDIG’s crypto portfolio as of March 2021 was around $6 billion which included at least 30,000 bitcoins, valued at $1 billion, owned by its parent company, Stone Ridge Holdings Group. The enterprise estimates that this deal lets them offer bitcoin services to approximately 70% of the US banks.
This isn’t NCR’s first step towards embracing the cryptosphere, the firm had partnered with crypto payment provider Flexa to allow convenience chain Sheetz’s 600 stores to pay for gas and other goods in Bitcoin and other alts.