So far, various banks have shown direct or indirect support for bitcoin and its underlying technology, but there hasn’t been a global bank providing actual bitcoin services while accepting different payment methods — until now.
NextBank is looking forward to becoming the first bank of its kind. Instead of going into defensive mode when it comes to discussing bitcoin, this bank has chosen to embrace the currency and its alternatives. It aims to offer services globally, in over 50 languages. Over 135 different payment methods including bitcoin, other altcoins and commodities will also be accepted.
Mixing bitcoin transactions with the traditional financial system and infrastructure often results in different problems, as there’s still a consistent lack of regulation. To help fix this, NextBank aims to offer banking services to individuals, brokers and businesses. Rather than simply providing banking services, the company has also chosen to offer international debit cards with various currencies loaded onto them, alongside with currency exchange, escrow services, money transfers, and more.
To truly shine, the company has declared that it’ll be free from ties to traditional financial institutions, but that it will also disregard political oppressiveness. If this is the case, we might just be dealing with the world’s first bitcoin friendly bank.
NextBank stated that users are given the possibility to open an account within 90 minutes, as a copy of a passport and utility bill are the only needed documents.
Unfortunately, the bank is not yet functional, as it’s still in the fundraising stage. With this in mind, software will be completed by the end of 2015. Once this is done, all necessary licenses will reportedly be obtained by the end of 2016’s first quarter. In case everything goes ahead according to plan, the company will likely launch in the second quarter of 2016.
Things do indeed sound a little too good to be true, but judging by the latest reports, the project actually has potential. Some of the main issues that NextBank can encounter would be lack of investors, and thus of funding; inability to obtain the required licenses, and lack of popularity. However, these issues aren’t likely, considering the fact that there are already many bitcoin exchanges, offering other services apart from simple currency conversion.
The NextBank Foundation Company which is registered in Vanuatu is the solely responsible entity for the creation of the bank, until shareholders will begin playing a role as well.