Australian online bank Volt has partnered with BTC Markets (BTCM) to provide integrated banking capabilities to the cryptocurrency exchange.
According to the company, this is a first-of-its-kind deal in the country as deposits in Volt accounts are insured up to $250,000 per customer under Australia’s Financial Claims Scheme.
The partnership comes on the back of news that Swyftx – an Australian cryptocurrency broker – has asked government agencies to look at regulation, but in a manner that doesn’t stifle innovation.
Specifically, it considers “de-banking” a barrier to success as a crypto business and has also requested a digital asset regulatory regime.
Caroline Bowler, CEO of BTCM told Coindesk she thinks this partnership represents “a shot in the arm for financial innovation in Australia”.
“The whole process took about three years,” she said.
“It was a commitment from both of us to see this through.”
Volt began offering its services in 2019 after getting an unrestricted Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution license and now calls itself Australia’s first online bank, or ‘neobank’.
“The first is always the hardest to get done,” added Bowler.
“This partnership shows it is possible for regulated entities in Australia to partner with the right crypto providers or other fintechs.”
Community not happy with banks
Volt chief executive Steve Weston explained the crypto community hasn’t been happy “with the games being played by banks”.
“Crypto is a less contested area of banking but an increasingly important one,” he claimed.
The neobank model has been in the spotlight after the collapse of Xinja and the acceleration of banking-as-a-service offerings by Westpac who partnered with Afterpay and Society One, providing the banking back end for new digital products.
Volt has a similar banking-as-a-service strategy, effectively renting its banking licence to organisations such as Railspay, AFG, Australian Mortgage, QPay and now BTC Markets.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.