New Puerto Rico bank targets crypto traders, offering both fiat and digital asset custody

A Puerto Rico-based bank offering both fiat and digital asset custody announced it had opened Monday. The announcement came after the San Juan Mercantile Bank & Trust International (SJMBT) received its licence to operate last month. 

However, the main event is still to come, as the bank plans to integrate with its yet-to-launch sister Exchange, where it will oversee trading and provide settlement services. SJMBT will then update customers' balances in real time, providing both custody and trading on one platform, according to a press release. 

The bank, a subsidary of Mercantile Global, noted that it will not store customers' fiat directly, instead using insured correspondent banks. It will also store clients' fiat with “approved digital asset custodians", although CoinDesk reported a spokesperson denied to name who.

"Commencing SJMBT banking operations is a significant milestone,” said Nick Varelakis, President and COO of SJMBT. He added they were targetting "institutional" crypto traders.