New York's Quontic Becomes First US Bank to Offer a Bitcoin Rewards Debit Card

Queens-based Quontic Bank has become the first FDIC-insured financial institution to launch a bitcoin rewards checking program.

Dec 15, 2020 at 4:46 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:43 a.m. UTC

New York-based Quontic Bank has become the first FDIC-insured financial institution to launch a bitcoin rewards checking program.

Announced Tuesday, the program includes a bitcoin rewards debit card (1.5% back), mobile app, access to ATMs, and mobile payments options like Google Pay and Apple Pay. 

The bank had to receive approval from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). In July, the OCC issued a letter enabling nationally chartered banks in the U.S. to provide custody services for cryptocurrencies. Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks has hinted at more “good” actions on crypto by the end of Trump’s term. 

At Quontic, customers’ bitcoin will be custodied by crypto asset manager NYDIG, which just scooped Quontic’s former chief innovation officer to serve as its head of bank solutions. Major banking software and payments technology provider FIS will build a mobile app with Quontic to track bitcoin rewards in the second quarter of 2021. 

“This is the first time any bank or any core [banking system] has done anything with bitcoin that is consumer facing,” Quontic CEO Steve Schnall said in an interview.

Customers will be able to hold their bitcoin with NYDIG or redeem it in cash, Schnall said. At the moment, customers are not permitted to transfer the bitcoin to another wallet address. 

Quontic is a tiny bank with only $1.4 billion in assets, about 0.044% the size of JPMorgan. In 2019, it banked a couple crypto firms. Since then, the bank has pivoted from offering bank accounts to crypto firms to trying to bring bitcoin to the masses. 

“Right now we’re not banking crypto companies,” Schnall said. “For the foreseeable future, we’re just going to focus on the consumer.” 

The bitcoin rewards program is initially available to residents of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Quontic does business in all 50 states, but these are the states that NYDIG currently operates in.

Update (Dec. 15, 17:18 UTC): Adds comments from Quontic CEO Steve Schnall.

Correction (Dec. 15, 17:30 UTC): Quontic is headquartered in Manhattan, not Queens. The bank moved across the East River in July 2019.

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
Terra’s LUNA Gains, Then Slides, After Do Kwon's Fork Proposal

Traders sold the tokens even as founder Do Kwon proposed a separate chain to make up for last week’s implosion of UST.

Traders sold the tokens even as founder Do Kwon proposed a separate chain to make up for last week’s implosion of UST.

2
Breaking Barriers to the Web 3 Creator Economy

The latest innovations in blockchain technology are enabling creators to earn more from their work and achieve an unprecedented level of autonomy.

The latest innovations in blockchain technology are enabling creators to earn more from their work and achieve an unprecedented level of autonomy.

3
How Not to Run a Cryptocurrency Exchange

At Japan's Liquid exchange, recently acquired by FTX, warnings were ignored, breaches unreported and employees berated and cursed at, insiders say.

At Japan's Liquid exchange, recently acquired by FTX, warnings were ignored, breaches unreported and employees berated and cursed at, insiders say.

4
Morgan Stanley Warns NFTs Next to Watch After UST Collapse, Bukele Announces Mega Banks Meeting in El Salvador

The most valuable crypto stories for Monday, May 16, 2022.

The most valuable crypto stories for Monday, May 16, 2022.