Kraken becoming a bank in Wyoming …

The Wyoming Banking Board just voted to approve Kraken, a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange, as a special purpose depository institution (SPDI).

Technically it’s the first crypto exchange in the United States to become a bank. “By becoming a bank we get direct access to federal payments infrastructure, and we can more seamlessly integrate banking and funding options for customers,” David Kinitsky, a managing director at Kraken and the CEO of the newly formed Kraken Financial, told CoinDesk.

If this plays out as it seems , good and bad in a sense , Kraken Financial will no longer have to deal with a variety of different rules for regulating digital assets, depending on which state.

SPDI banks in Wyoming, started in November 2019, are still different than regular national banks. They never actually hold full legal ownership over any digital assets, but are legally allowed to hold them. Any assets following a bankruptcy must be returned to customers.

What about crypto debit ?

Kraken has plans now that it has been approved. “We would expect to offer a host of new products as we get established,” Kinitsky told CoinDesk. “Those will range from things like qualified custody for institutions, digital-asset debit cards and savings accounts all the way to new types of asset classes.”

In the wake of a July letter from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency giving national banks the go-ahead to custody crypto, the Division of Banking also announced it has been working with Promontory Financial Group, a prominent Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm made up of lawyers and former government regulators. In October, the division along with Promontory will publish the first manual for banks regarding procedures and policies for handling digital assets, Land said.

In addition to more products, Kraken Financial will give Kraken the ability to operate in more jurisdictions, Kinitsky said. As a state-chartered bank, Kraken now has a regulatory passport into other states without having to deal with a patchwork state-by-state compliance plan.

“By becoming a bank we get direct access to federal payments infrastructure, and we can more seamlessly integrate banking and funding options for customers,” David Kinitsky, a managing director at Kraken and the CEO of the newly formed Kraken Financial, told CoinDesk.