Phillip Gastauer, Director, Black Banx
Back in the days when Crypto Currency was invented and started finding its first use cases by a group of tech fanatic enthusiasts, no Banker would even consider in its wildest dreams, to depos-it client funds into that kind of asset. Fast-forward into February 2021, where the Bitcoin passed its $50,000 USD mark taking the total market cap to over $1 Trillion USD, with Global Asset Management Giants BlackRock switching Billions of customer funds into Bitcoin and the oldest US Bank BNY Mellon announcing they would start treating digital currencies like any other of their asset classes to invest client funds. It seams the world of Finance and High Street Banking has finally jumped on the train wagon not to be left out from investing into one of the highest performing Assets since the invention of Digital Currency.
Considering the initial hesitation and problems Financial Institutions had when dealing with Crypto Currency or even any clients that had to do with Crypto, it is quite surprising that the Banking Industry ever got in Bed with Crypto Currency. One of the first Bankers being bold enough to publicly admit he would accept Bitcoin as a form of deposit and offer the conversion into any of the 28 FIAT currencies, was the Founder and CEO of Black Banx, Michael Gastauer. In late 2014, he and his son Phillip Gastauer together with a team launched what he called a Crypto Bank, which seamed to be a hybrid of a traditional Bank where clients can keep FIAT accounts, combined with a light version of a Crypto Exchange. What was totally unique, clients could open accounts 100% remotely from almost any country and get verified within a few minutes to use their accounts for sending and receiving funds, in FIAT and Bitcoin. Sure in today’s world, where Crypto Exchanges such as Kraken become Banks offering almost the same level of comfort as a traditional Banks, it doesn’t seam such a unique approach to open a “Crypto Bank”, however back in 2014 when the Gastauer’s opened Black Banx, it was a totally rebellious move for a regulated Financial Institution to deal with Crypto Currency and provide Banking services at the same time. Banking and Crypto Currency was like Fire and Water, one can’t be mixed with the other.
Michael Gastauer got inspired by his son Phillip, who was using Bitcoin since 2011 for online purchases. Both saw the great opportunity arising from creating a banking platform that would allow customers to instantly convert their Crytpo Currency holdings into FIAT and vice versa. “I am sure we all remember those days when you wanted to buy or sell Crypto Currency you had to wire transfer your FIAT money to an Exchange that would do the conversion for you. Many Exchanges had problems to find a Banking partner that would accept client deposits, so the Exchanges become unreliable and had constant issues accepting or paying out clients’ money. Regular Banks didn’t want to touch the Crypto Business assuming currencies such as Bitcoin is only used on the dark net to buy something illegal” said Phillip Gastauer with a smile on his face when asked him why he saw a need to change the way how crypto currency and banking can interact.
Being a Banker for more than twenty years, his father Michael Gastauer saw the potential behind Crypto Currency and had the knowledge, vision and tools of the Banking Industry to solve this problem. The vision to build a powerful hub that would allow the world to use Crypto Currency as a flawless integration with their regular banking environment. This was the starting point to create Black Banx.
Today, Black Banx is providing accounts for private individuals, businesses and institutional clients. Black Banx is technically able to handle the account opening process through a proprietary software, allowing them to deal with the required KYC procedures instantly 24/7. To open an account with Black Banx, a client simply needs to download the mobile App or go to blackbanx.com and complete the onboarding process. Within eight minutes the account is set up in any of the selected FIAT or Crypto Currencies. After uploading passport and proof of address, doing a live verification through the mobile App, the account is ready to go.
According to the Gastauer’s, their greatest values from start have been being unprejudiced, focused and reliable. Despite almost any other Banks, they decided to maintain a very open-minded approach when it comes to accepting clients from various industries, backgrounds and countries. Michael Gastauer believes that in most Banks clients would be automatically declined, often without even telling them the reason, if a client is connected to an industry considered un-ethical or high risk. The same was the case back in 2015 when we started to build a banking solution for the Crypto Industry. Over time the perspective how an Industry is being seen may change, however for the early adopters of any industry it is crucial to find partners in the beginning not years later after the market has changed. Black Banx provided many of today’s largest players in the Crypto space the banking platform they needed to start their business.
The Gastauer’s have always been focused on their mission to offer the world a banking solution where funds can flow freely like water. For every business owner it is surely important to stay focused no matter what criticism others are having or how many times you are being told things are not possible. Things are always impossible until the first person does it.