Norway’s Largest Online Bank Integrates Bitcoin Accounts
Norway’s largest internet-based bank has added a new feature tethering bitcoin accounts to the company’s web bank platform. Skandiabanken customers are now able to access Coinbase accounts giving members insight into their digital investments alongside their savings and checking accounts.
Skandiabanken Recognizes Cryptocurrency as an Investment Class
Skandiabanken executives are starting to see bitcoin as an asset class for the 21st century. “We recognize cryptocurrency as an investment class similar to other securities,” Christoffer Hernæs, Skandiabanken’s Head of Innovation and Development explains to local news outlets.
Skandiabanken conducts all of its services online and is currently the most popular internet bank in Norway. The bank believes customers will appreciate the new feature as it provides members with an overview of their digital investments. The service will initially only be offered to Skandiabanken customers using the bank’s payment platform.
Hernæs details that cryptocurrency is still a very nascent technology and economy. “It’s still an early phase for cryptocurrencies,” Hernæs states. “It may be ok to test the waters, without jumping into it head first.” The new feature constitutes as the “first step in a direction we believe in,” explains the Skandiabanken executive.
Winners Will Be Those Who Collaborate With New Players and Technology
Currently, Norwegian tax officials classify bitcoin as a property and is a taxable income according to the country’s Tax Act. Hernæs says Skandiabanken customers will be notified of these requirements if they decide to utilize the bank’s bitcoin services.
Members of the Skandiabanken Norway branch can also use the service to purchase bitcoins via Paypal’s payment processor. Although some banking authorities believe bitcoin may be a scary technology, Hernæs explains Skandiabanken believes it’s a good idea to be in lockstep with new technologies.
“We acknowledge that this is something people want to put their money into,” says Hernæs. “Then we think it is the right time to look at new solutions we can offer. We think it’s a better approach than categorically thinking that this is scary.”
The bank winners will be those who collaborate with new players and new technology, not those who deny it.
The Skandiabanken feature is similar to the American financial services company USAA’s Coinbase integration. Back in November of 2015, USAA started a program allowing customers access to their Coinbase accounts using the firm’s online and mobile applications. Just like USAA’s program, Skandiabanken customers simply log into Coinbase through the bank’s login portal.
What do you think about the Norwegian Internet-based bank offering visualization to bitcoin accounts? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, Skandiabanken
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