Caitlin Long teams with Blockstream on Wyoming-based Avanti Bank to serve digital asset industry

Avanti Financial Group announced plans today to launch a new US bank to serve the digital asset industry by offering solutions that can only be provided in the US by a regulated bank. Avanti, which recently raised its seed round of funding, is preparing an application to obtain a bank charter from the Wyoming Division of Banking under Wyoming’s special-purpose depository institution (SPDI) law.

Subject to the approval of its application, Avanti plans to open its doors by early 2021. Avanti is supported by a strategic technology partnership with Blockstream, the leading software company focused on the Bitcoin protocol. Terms were not disclosed.

Caitlin Long, a veteran of both Wall Street and digital assets, and Avanti’s Founder and CEO, said:
“A crucial step in the digital asset industry’s evolution is the formation of a new bank dedicated to bridging digital assets with the US dollar payments system in a compliant manner, and the provision of custodial services that meet the strictest institutional standards. This critical piece of industry infrastructure does not exist in the US yet, and creating it will unlock many new products and services around digital assets that only a regulated US bank can provide directly. Many new potential institutional users of digital assets either must deal with a US regulated bank–or for many reasons prefer to do so–and once such a bank exists, these institutions can finally gain confidence to enter the rapidly growing market.”

As demand from institutional customers warrants, Avanti plans to service assets for multiple digital asset protocols. Avanti’s charter would permit it to engage in a range of payment, custody, securities and commodities activities for institutional customers that use digital assets. For various regulatory reasons, certain of these activities are not currently available from US banks or trust companies. Avanti plans to break that logjam and thereby help keep the US from falling behind other countries whose regulated banks are already serving institutions in this rapidly growing market.

Dr. Adam Back, CEO, and co-founder of Blockstream, said:
“This partnership combines the best in Bitcoin applications with the optimal regulatory vehicle for delivering products and services to institutional customers that require regulated providers. Blockstream’s platforms fit well with Wyoming’s property-rights centric digital asset laws, which will enable Avanti to introduce products into US dollar markets that do not exist today.”