A bank dedicated to traders of cryptocurrency is now open for business in Puerto-Rico. The bank which goes by the name San Juan Mercantile Bank & Trust International (SJMBT), recently announced that it has received its first client’s deposit.
SJMBT which received its license to operate as an international financial entity(IFE) by Puerto Rico’s Office of the Commission of Financial Institutions (OCIF), just last month, is a unit of Mercantile Global Holdings (MGH). The bank is owned by the same entity which owns the San Juan Mercantile Exchange (SJMX), an “institutional-grade electronic trading platform for digital assets.” which is about to go live.
SJMBT will reportedly provide custody and settlement services for both crypto and fiats traded on the exchange. Although currently not insured by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), the bank will ensure that its client’s deposit is at their corresponding bank rates. Also, clients crypto savings will be held at “approved digital asset custodians,”
According to MGH “the exchange will take into account customer balances on deposit at the bank when setting trading limits, enabling the bank to settle trades in real time.”. This is one of the few benefits attached to keeping custody and trading under the same roof.
Speaking further on the benefits of custody and trading on a single platform, Nick Varelakis, president and chief operating officer of SJMB&T, said:
“As more liquidity venues onboard with SJMX to trade digital assets, SJMBT will provide critical services, such as real-time settlement and account re-balancing, in support of our customers’ trading activities,”
It is important to note that MGH’s leadership is made up of accomplished financial veterans with experience cutting across several top-ranking Wall Street investment houses. Notably is the MGH bank and exchange founder, J. Robert CollinsJr., former president of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX, a part of CMEGroup) and a founder of the Dubai Mercantile Exchange. Another perfect example is Varelakis, who is a former executive director of JPMorgan Chase for business architecture and transformation.
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