Want To Bank With Signature, Then Give Up On Crypto


  • FDIC demands potential buyers of Signature Bank to sever crypto ties
  • Crypto-friendly Signature Bank was the third-largest bank failure in U.S. history
  • Closure of Signature Bank fuels speculations of a broader crackdown on crypto

Signature Bank and Crypto Business

Recently, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has demanded potential buyers of the now-defunct Signature Bank to relinquish their ties with crypto. This move by the FDIC has fueled suspicions that regulators specifically targeted Signature Bank due to its association with the crypto industry.

A Surprising Shutdown

New York regulators abruptly took control of Signature Bank, making it the third-largest bank failure in U.S. history. The bank was known for lending money to firms in the digital asset space and facilitated crypto-to-fiat transactions through its Signet network. Many were caught off-guard by the sudden closure, sparking questions about whether it was part of a larger crackdown on crypto by regulators.

Regulatory Motives

Barney Frank, a former congressman and board member of Signature Bank, told CNBC that banking regulators might have shuttered the bank to send “a very strong anti-crypto message.” However, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) refuted this claim, stating that the decision to place Signature Bank into receivership was based on the bank’s ability to conduct business safely and soundly.

FDIC Auction Requirements

As the FDIC prepares to auction off Signature Bank, it has imposed specific conditions for prospective buyers. Only bidders with existing banking charters will be allowed to review the bank’s financials before submitting an offer. Additionally, the FDIC has made it clear that the buyer must cease all business with the crypto industry.

Signature Bank’s Legacy

Signature Bank’s shares began trading on Nasdaq under the SBNY ticker in 2004. By early 2022, its share price had reached an all-time high of $365.71 per share. The bank also offered an instant settlement network for digital payments called Signet, rivaling a similar service at Silvergate Bank. However, by the time Nasdaq halted trading on SBNY on March 10, its shares had fallen to $70.

Crypto Industry Concerns

The closure of Signature Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, and Silvergate Bank has raised concerns within the crypto industry. Some speculate that this marks a coordinated effort by regulators to choke the crypto industry off from the banking system. Despite these concerns, there is a growing sentiment within the crypto community to adopt a more bullish attitude towards acquiring traditional financial institutions like banks.

Signature Bank and Its Relationship with the Crypto Industry

In recent times, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has made a bold move by insisting that potential buyers of the troubled Signature Bank must cut all their ties with the crypto sector. This decision by the FDIC has sparked speculations and raised questions as to whether the regulatory body singled out Signature Bank for its known involvement with the crypto industry.

A Bank Embracing Digital Assets

Signature Bank was one of the few traditional financial institutions that embraced the world of digital assets. The bank was known for providing banking services to businesses and individuals operating in the crypto space. It offered loans to firms in the digital asset domain and facilitated the conversion of cryptocurrencies to fiat currencies through its proprietary Signet network. This unique position made Signature Bank a popular choice for crypto-related businesses seeking banking services.

Regulatory Scrutiny and Compliance Challenges

Due to its involvement with the crypto industry, Signature Bank was subject to increased regulatory scrutiny. The bank faced various compliance challenges as it had to adhere to stringent anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations while catering to its crypto clientele. This delicate balancing act proved difficult for the bank, as regulators were increasingly concerned about the potential risks associated with cryptocurrencies, such as money laundering and terrorist financing.

FDIC’s Stance on Crypto and Signature Bank’s Future

The FDIC’s demand for potential buyers to sever ties with the crypto sector highlights the regulator’s cautious approach towards cryptocurrencies. This decision has fueled speculations that the regulatory body targeted Signature Bank for its association with the crypto industry, indicating a possible broader crackdown on crypto-related businesses. As the FDIC prepares to auction off the bank, it remains uncertain whether a buyer willing to comply with these conditions will emerge, leaving the future of Signature Bank and its relationship with the crypto industry hanging in the balance.

The Ripple Effect on the Crypto Industry and Traditional Banking

The FDIC’s stance on Signature Bank’s association with the crypto industry has raised concerns among other financial institutions and the crypto community. This move could potentially discourage traditional banks from embracing cryptocurrencies, further isolating the crypto industry from mainstream financial services. On the other hand, this situation may also encourage crypto-based businesses to explore innovative ways of navigating the financial landscape, possibly leading to the development of alternative banking solutions and fostering increased cooperation within the crypto ecosystem.

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