Silvergate Bank of San Diego describes itself as a community bank, with clients that include a nearby chain of milkshake stores and a local architectural firm. But in the past year, Silvergate has taken on a new role: the go-to bank for the cryptocurrency industry.
Most U.S. banks steer clear of companies involved with digital currencies, which some worry can be used to launder money or fund illegal activities. But Silvergate has courted the industry aggressively. It provides financial services to 250 crypto-related exchanges, wallet services, investment funds and other companies, CEO Alan Lane said in an interview with The Information. That is likely more cryptocurrency clients than any other U.S. bank, and includes Coinbase’s GDAX exchange, Kraken, bitFlyer and Gemini, according to investor documents obtained by The Information.