Bear markets are very rough times for investors and speculators. However, crypto banks have a tough time, too, as they have to try to grow an audience. Interestingly, things are slowly coming together for some projects, whereas others remain behind the curve.
The Prominent Crypto Banks
The term “crypto banks” may sound counterproductive to many people. Cryptocurrencies and banks are nearly polar opposites to some, even though they are not too different in reality. Many projects pursuing this label offer services and products one would find through a bank, even if the underpinning infrastructure is very different.
Per recent findings by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada, the landscape has become rather intriguing. The top-tier crypto banks, like BlockFi, Nexo, Crypto.com, Abra, and CryptoPay, all provide various products and services. Those solutions may include borrowing and lending, institutional services, corporate treasury, business loans, or even accepting NFT as collateral. That latter feature remains highly experimental, though, for obvious reasons.
The “lesser gods” among crypto banks all seem to focus on the same concepts: a way to earn and save, buy cryptocurrency, and trade. Depending on the provider, one may access borrowing and lending or merchant integrations. That latter part should be far more prominent, and Crypto.com, Nash, Eco, and Zengo all acknowledge its importance. Getting more people into crypto remains essential, but it remains a tricky ordeal.
A key metric is figuring out how many proclaimed users these crypto banks have. It is tough to find accurate numbers, as these firms are not too keen on publicizing that data. Crypto.com serves over 50 million users, whereas Yield App has yet to surpass 100,000. It is also curious how Youhodler, Coin Loan, Abra, and Nash never disclose user numbers. In an industry where transparency is a core aspect, being opaque is not the smart play.
Licensing Remains A Hurdle
All crypto banks will agree on how troublesome it can be to acquire [new] licenses. However, BlockFi and Youhodler succeeded in doing so, although Crypto.com has registered and gained regulatory approval in various regions throughout 2022. These are painstaking but necessary steps to gain more legitimacy and attract mainstream users.
One final curious observation is how under half of these crypto banks have a native token. Yield App has such a token, whereas Coin Loan or Youhodler does not. BlockFi also has no intention of creating a token for now. Moreover, one has to wonder if more crypto banks want to support NFTs as collateral, as that remains a rather risky endeavor.
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