Bankera, an ongoing ICO which has already raised $220 million for the funding of an online digital bank, announced today its co-founders have acquired the Pacific Private Bank (PPB), which offers wealth management, asset management, and private banking solutions.
The amount paid is undisclosed. Vytautas Karalevicius, Mantas Mockevicius, and Justas Dobiliauskas, Bankera’s CEO, CCO and CTO respectively, signed the agreement, PPB said before adding:
“The agreement was approved by the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu and signed by both parties on the 15th of January, 2018.”
With Vanuatu being a nation state in a collection of islands in the Pacific where around 200,000 individuals live.
Bankera says “the Pacific Private Bank and Bankera will remain separate projects. Nevertheless, the bank will improve its operational infrastructure by leveraging the blockchain technology.”
It further says PPB’s Directors “will also share their expertise and insights with Bankera’s team,” which claims it will “empower the Pacific Private Bank with bank-level blockchain technology.”
“One of the first steps to be done is to connect the Pacific Private Bank to the Ripple network,” Bankera says before adding:
“This move, which aims to facilitate cross-border transactions, has already attracted interest from leading global banks such as Santander, UniCredit, UBS and Standard Chartered.
Also, blockchain-based identity management and KYC (Know Your Client) solutions will be implemented at the Pacific Private bank to improve client onboarding.”
This is the first crypto project to be so directly related to a bank, as far as we are aware, although the separation of the two businesses does sound curious, especially if the bank was bought with ICO money.
Bankera, however, claims they are already established, stating in their whitepaper they already have “the necessary regulatory and IT arrangements to offer individual international bank account numbers (IBAN) which can accept and make payments in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).”
They are just one among a number of ICO projects that are planning to establish a crypto-bank in light of numerous complaints of bank account closures as well as implicit and explicit accusations that current traditional banks are abusing their monopolies to act in an anti-competitive manner.
But while other projects are still in development, Bankera appears to be moving forward towards that goal of a crypto friendly bank, potentially unleashing in a new era.