Even though most banks around the world have taken a negative stance on Bitcoin, some smaller institutions are doing the exact opposite. There is no real reason for any bank to oppose cryptocurrencies, even though it may seem like the “safer” option. VersaBank, one of Canada’s smaller banks, is currently in the process of developing a digital vault service for Bitcoin users. It is a remarkable venture, especially considering that few people were aware this project was under active development.
VersaBank Makes an intriguing Decision
In a way, it is rather surprising to learn that VersaBank – of all institutions – is pro-Bitcoin. With most of its counterparts actively preventing users from buying Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies, no one would expect a bank to offer a digital vault service of this magnitude. Even though this all-digital Canadian bank has a knack for introducing innovative features, focusing on the Bitcoin ecosystem is rather controversial. Even so, they see the merit in a blockchain-based digital safety deposit box for Bitcoin.
VersaBank claims this is the world’s first blockchain-based safety deposit box on this scale. Although other banks have hinted at potentially developing such a service in the future, none of these efforts have materialized as of yet. The service is not yet available to customers, as the project is still being developed behind the scenes. For now, there is no official timeline other than that the service is “expected to go live in June.” Its main purpose is to let users store cryptocurrency, although the bank has not alluded to any currencies besides Bitcoin being supported.
The VersaVault is being described as follows:
Your digital assets are just as valuable as any family jewelry, property deed or stock certificate, but protecting them isn’t nearly as simple. No storage device or commercial cloud service is completely safe, and most blockchain-based secure storage is only for cryptocurrency… and offered by companies you’ve never heard of, in places you don’t know. VersaVault is the solution your digital wealth has been waiting for: the impenetrable security and absolute privacy of blockchain encryption, created and managed by a chartered bank in one of the world’s most trusted financial markets. Like a safety deposit box, only you have access to what’s inside, and like a safety deposit box, it’s been built by an institution you can trust to be there for the long run.
Even though bank vault services are rather common when dealing with physical assets (such as precious metals), it has not been done for digital currencies as of yet. Coinbase, one of the world’s biggest exchanges, offers a similar service, but they are not an official bank. VersaBank, on the other hand, has nothing to do with cryptocurrency exchanges. Canada may very well become one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the world due to this project alone.
With so many exchanges being hacked over the years, the search for secure cryptocurrency storage solutions has only become more pressing. Using a hardware wallet to keep your holdings safe is still the best course of action, as it does not involve relying on third-party service providers. For those not willing to explore this option, the new service announced by VersaBank is well worth looking into. Most people already keep their valuable assets in digital form, and cryptocurrencies only illustrate that point further. As such, it is not entirely illogical that banks would want to tap into this market at some point.
It will be interesting to see what exactly this feature entails when it launches, though. Being secure and private seem to be two top priorities, but there will be more to this service than meets the eye. It seems other financial institutions are already showing a keen interest in VersaBank’s digital vault, which will hopefully lead to some exciting developments in the future.