Despite Crypto Winter, Silvergate Bank Onboard 59 New Crypto Customers in Q4 2018

Bhushan Akolkar
By Bhushan Akolkar
Posted on March 20, 2019
Despite Crypto Winter, Silvergate Bank Onboard 59 New Crypto Customers in Q4 2018

We all know that the newly emerging crypto industry and traditional banking institutions have shared a hostile relationship with each other. As cryptocurrencies challenge the very foundation and core ethos of traditional banking, banks aren’t willing to tie-up with crypto businesses. 

However, the story with San Diego-based Silvergate Bank is very different. According to the latest filing by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Silvergate Bank managed to add 59 new crypto clients to its portfolio during Q4 2018, despite the heavy crypto meltdown. 

As on December 31, 2018, Silvergate Bank has a total of 542 crypto clients up from 483 crypto clients during the quarter ending September 30. The new crypto clients for Silvergate Bank include 33 firms and 24 investors comprising a mix of cryptocurrency miners and service providers, blockchain developers, etc. 

Traditional Financial Institutions Warming Up to The Crypto Industry

Silvergate Bank believes that the acceptance for cryptocurrencies will continue to grow among traditional financial players. To back its claims, the bank provides the following data. 

“Currently, there are over 300 institutional investment funds with aggregate estimated assets under management of between approximately $7.5 billion to $10 billion. Over $8.3 billion has been invested in digital currency-related projects, excluding initial coin offering funding, since December 31, 2013. Approximately $1.3 billion in venture funding was raised in the digital currency and blockchain market in the 12 months ended June 30, 2018, which is the most recent date such information is available.”

Despite the growth in the number of clients, there was a marginal drop in the U.S. Dollar held by Silvergate customers during the fourth quarter. The shrinkage, however, came majorly from exchange businesses. However, with other crypto-related businesses, the deposits to Silvergate Bank were on the rise. 

The SEC filing also reveals that besides being the main customer-base of Silvergate, the crypto-related businesses also own around 13.1% of the bank’s stock. Furthermore, the bank’s 10 largest clients contribute nearly 50% deposits of which nine are crypto-related businesses. 

Despite a major meltdown in the Bitcoin price, deposits of cryptocurrency clients grew by 11.4% or $150 million. 

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