YEREVAN (CoinChapter.com) — Vast Bank, the Oklahoma-based $850 million financial giant has announced its exit from the cryptocurrency market. It is a recently-issued notification, that the bank has announced it has also closed down its crypto mobile banking app. Launched in 2021, its app enabled the bank’s customers to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrency thanks to partnerships with the German software firm SAP and the crypto exchange Coinbase.
The announcement comes as a huge blow to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and the wider crypto market. It had become the first bank in the United States “to offer customers the ability to purchase and sell cryptocurrencies alongside a traditional checking account”.
Vast Bank’s exit from the Crypto Market is a huge blow
Vast Bank’s crypto service was a notable venture, as it represented one of the few instances where a traditional bank had made a direct foray into the cryptocurrency space.
However, effective Jan. 31, 2024, the bank has disabled and removed its crypto mobile banking application.
“To strategically align our operations, effective January 31st, 2024, we will be disabling and removing the Vast Crypto Mobile Banking application from Google and Apple, which means your Vast Crypto Mobile Banking account(s), including any Digital Assets held in custody, will be liquidated and closed.”the bank announced.
Those customers who have failed to withdraw their funds before the above-mentioned date “will have a cashier’s check mailed to their address on file,” the bank further stated.
More significantly, the bank indicated that it would not support the transfer of cryptocurrencies to other exchanges or platforms, leaving customers with the option of liquidation as the only course of action.
Vast Bank’s exit from the cryptocurrency market comes as a huge blow to the sector. The bank’s collaborations with major crypto entities in offering its services were crucial as they provided the necessary technology and exchange infrastructure. The harmonious blend of the traditional financial world with the emerging sector was significant.
Vast Bank’s exit from the cryptocurrency market follows a cease-and-desist order initiated against Vast Bank by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in October 2023. In its order, the US Treasury body had accused the bank of engaging in “unsafe or unsound practices”.