This article was last updated on June 10, 2022
The USA is the largest cryptocurrency market in the world when looking at overall trading volume. The country far surpasses all others and makes up a sizeable portion of the international crypto trade. This is largely thanks to its advanced economy, status as a financial center, and the high spending power of the population. It is precisely this last factor that has contributed to the large number of retail investors in the market. However, many of them have been met with resistance from traditional banks, many of which have shunned cryptocurrencies. This has left traders wondering which banks in the USA are crypto-friendly and which ones aren’t.
In this article, we take an in-depth look at the current banking environment in the United States and find out which banks are crypto-friendly and which ones are less so.
Table of contents
- Are All Banks In The USA Crypto-Friendly?
- Will Banks In The USA Ever Embrace Crypto?
- Top Crypto-Friendly Banks In The USA
- Non-Crypto-Friendly Banks In The USA
- Crypto-Friendly Alternatives To Banks In The USA
Are All Banks In The USA Crypto-Friendly?
While the US might be the largest market of cryptocurrencies, not all banks in the country are so thrilled about the idea of a decentralized system. This challenges their central position in the sector and threatens to unseat banks as the dominant force. Such a drastic disruption could spell doom for many billion-dollar institutions, which would be either unwilling or unable to fit in the new climate.
Many industry giants have dedicated considerable resources in order to hinder the adoption and use of cryptocurrencies in the US. Some of the largest banks in the country have gone to great lengths to dissuade their customers from buying or trading with cryptos. To do so, they have blocked transactions to and from established crypto exchanges, as well as lesser-known ones. The latter is under the pretext of protection from possible fraud.
Meanwhile, since large financial firms and banks have great political influence in the country, some have leveraged that against cryptocurrencies. Many institutions have lobbied against the technology by using their influence to push the government towards regulating cryptos.
Another explanation for banks’ aversion to cryptocurrencies might be much more simple. Because the crypto market is highly volatile, unpredictable, and young, many people have lost large sums of money trading on it. Oftentimes, people will try to issue chargebacks on deposits they have made on crypto exchanges following such losses. This creates extra work for banks, which takes up time and money. Furthermore, banks often end up paying for such chargebacks, as they are unable to retrieve lost funds from crypto exchanges.
Will Banks In The USA Ever Embrace Crypto?
Although many banks are opposed to cryptocurrencies, their attitude has begun to change over the past several years. This is largely due to crypto’s steep rise in price and popularity over the past couple of years. As a result, many of the technology’s strongest opponents have done a complete 180 and are now trying to invest in it.
Banks and financial firms are scrambling to diversify their portfolios and supplement them with crypto assets. However, they are currently playing catch up, as the industry has moved fast while they have been slow to respond.
Top Crypto-Friendly Banks In The USA
Although they have been slow to get on board, most US banks now fully support crypto transactions or at least do not hinder them. However, some are still better than others. Here are some of the most crypto-friendly banks that you can use.
1. Ally Bank
Ally Bank is an online-only bank that offers full services in the US While the company has a long history that goes back over one hundred years, the bank itself was founded in 2009. Today, Ally provides banking services, financing, credit and other loans, car insurance, asset trading services, and more. The bank is also fully regulated by US regulatory bodies and provides both fiat and crypto services.
As an online platform, Ally also offers 24/7 support which is ideal for crypto traders who can receive assistance at any time. This is especially handy given the fact that the crypto market does not have working hours but operates 24/7. The company has also officially positioned itself as an ally of cryptocurrencies. Its platform is even directly integrated with Coinbase so customers can link their accounts together. This allows them to quickly and easily gain access to the crypto market so they can start trading. Both debit and credit cards are supported for transactions. However, you might have to pay some extra fees with the latter.
Related: Top 5 Banks To Use In The UK If You Are Investing in Crypto
2. Simple Bank / BBVA
Another one of the so-called “neobanks” confined solely to internet operations, Simple Bank services customers from the United States. While it does not have such a long history, Simple Bank is currently one of the top online banks and is even backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This means that every deposit with the bank is insured for up to $250,000, which is always a plus and gives customers peace of mind.
When it comes to cryptocurrencies, Simple has a friendly attitude and encourages such transactions. So far, the bank has partnered with most of the major platforms and exchanges to give customers a smooth and problem-free experience. The bank also natively supports several major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and more. With these, customers can open buy and sell orders directly on the bank’s platform.
In May 2021, Simple Bank was shut down, transferring all existing customers to its parent organization BBVA. While the transition was not exactly smooth, most issues have now been resolved. Customers are now able to access their new accounts and can still take advantage of the more popular features from Simple.
USAA is a United States financial group that offers a wide range of services. Originally founded in 1922 as an insurance group for military officers, USAA was a way for them to get auto insurance. Since people who serve in the military are considered at high risk, many found it difficult to secure such services. Today, the group has expanded into a Fortune 500 company that provides a number of services, including banking. Their customer base has also extended to civilians who are now able to open accounts with the bank.
Back in 2015, USAA contributed to Coinbase’s $75 million funding round and officially entered the crypto space. Since then, the bank has fully integrated the Coinbase platform with its own to allow customers easy access to the crypto market. By utilizing Coinbase connect, USAA customers can quickly monitor and manage their Coinbase balance directly through the bank’s online platform.
4. Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs is one of the oldest and most renowned US banks currently in existence. Kown the world over as a pillar in the financial community, the bank has provided its services for more than 150 years. The institution’s reputation, steeped in its deep history, gives it a pedigree that competitors simply cannot reach. The fact that it has endured for over a century, and a half to such great success also makes Goldman Sachs one of the most trusted and respected investment banks in the country.
All of this gives it a unique and unparalleled advantage when it comes to the cryptocurrency market. While other banks from the older generation have been quick to reject cryptos and slow to adopt them, Goldman Sachs was one of the few to embrace them from the beginning.
Because Goldman Sachs is an investment bank, it does not provide checking accounts, so you cannot use your account with them to make payments or withdraw funds. However, the bank does offer extensive savings, investment, and credit services. All of these are crypto-friendly, and you can easily diversify your Goldman Sachs portfolio with crypto assets if you wish to do so.
5. Charles Schwab
Another investment-focused bank, Charles Schwab is the third-largest manager of assets in the world. For over 50 years, the organization has provided banking, investment, management, advisory, and other services to both private and commercial customers.
However, Charles Schwab does not allow its clients to directly trade crypto assets through its platform or services. Instead, the bank gives them the opportunity to invest in a wide range of instruments. These include futures, trusts, crypto-related stocks, and more.
Non-Crypto-Friendly Banks In The USA
As we mentioned earlier, not all banks in the USA are keen on cryptos. Most of the older institutions in the country have vehemently opposed the new form of currency and have gone to great lengths to hinder its adoption. While this attitude has slightly changed over past years, they remain problematic when it comes to crypto-related transactions. Here is a list of banks in the US that might create problems when trying to deposit or withdraw from a crypto-related platform.
Interesting read: Cheapest Cryptocurrencies To Invest In 2022
1. JP Morgan Chase
JP Morgan is another pillar of the US economy that can trace its roots back to the Gilded Age. In its current form, the bank was established in 2000 and was made up of multiple banks and financial institutions. Today, JP Morgan Chase provides banking, wealth management, investment, treasury, and other services to customers around the world.
When cryptocurrencies first began to gain prominence in the 2010s, JP Morgan was one of the many banks to quickly shun them. Their CEO, Jamie Dimon, famously called Bitcoin “worthless”, stating that “Cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value”. However, while Dimon maintains his stance, the bank he helms has eased up on cryptocurrencies. In August 2021, JP Morgan silently added six crypto funds, giving its clients access to them. Meanwhile, the bank also created its own digital currency- JPM Coin. This can be used to ease international transfers and payments.
2. Capital One
The credit provider Capital One has also announced a firm stance against cryptocurrencies across all of its international operations. Since the bank specializes in credit services and loans, it is at particular risk of customers abusing its policies. Because many clients will issue chargebacks after losing money on the crypto market, the bank often ends up footing the bill. Such instances also create extra work that costs additional time and money. Furthermore, many governments impose strict regulations on the use of credit to trade in the market.
As a result, Capital One has completely restricted the use of its cards and accounts on crypto-related platforms. All attempts to deposit or withdraw funds from cryptocurrency exchanges and other such websites will result in blocked transactions.
Crypto-Friendly Alternatives To Banks In The USA
PayPal is probably the most popular online payment system. It offers a range of financial services to customers around the world and in the United States. Since its creation in 1998, PayPal has become the go-to choice for people who want to easily receive or send funds online. The service sees particular usage in the US, where there are few alternatives.
By first depositing their funds into PayPal, clients can subvert conventional banks’ restrictive policies and freely trade in crypto. However, this can result in higher expenses, as the extra transactions can carry additional fees. Furthermore, not all websites accept PayPal as a payment method. As a result, always make sure that you can use PayPal before transferring any funds or choosing a crypto exchange. One example of a major exchange that does support PayPal is Coinbase.
2. Cash App
Cash App is another fintech company that is hugely popular in the United States. Similar to something like Revolut, it allows you to transfer and manage funds online. Favored for its low fees and simple UI, Cash App has quickly overtaken the US market to become the dominant app for online payments. Additionally, the service also offers a debit card which can be used to make payments.
This last service is how clients can use Cash App to make deposits to crypto exchanges while avoiding bank policies. Alternatively, much like Revolut, Cash App also offers trading in crypto directly through its app. There, clients can invest in CFDs of popular currencies for as little as $1.
A subsidiary of PayPal, Venmo is another mobile payment service available in the US. Although initially intended to help friends and family easily transfer funds between each other, it has since expanded into a much wider range of options. The company was bought by Braintree in 2012, which was later acquired by PayPal.
Today, Venmo allows clients to transfer funds across multiple platforms with short waiting times and low fees. Additionally, Venmo now offers both debit and credit cards which work like regular bank ones. These can be used for any service that accepts MasterCard. Meanwhile, the app also offers a dedicated crypto-trading platform where clients can trade in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
All in all, the US banking sector has, for sure, become friendlier towards cryptocurrencies over the past couple of years. Many of the old banks have changed their initial stance and are now embracing crypto. While some only offer investment opportunities in crypto-related instruments, others have fully integrated the new currency into their offerings.
Meanwhile, clients who do not wish to deal with the bureaucracy of traditional banks have plenty of alternatives to choose from. Numerous fintech companies have appeared in the United States over recent years, providing clients with an easy and convenient way to manage their funds online. Now is definitely a good time for crypto enthusiasts, as there have never been so many crypto-friendly banks in the USA.