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Australian Neobank Volt Inks Partnership Deal With Crypto Exchange BTC Markets

Australia-based crypto exchange BTC Markets (BTCM) has tapped a digital bank to provide its platform with integrated banking services.

In a press release Monday, BTCM said it would invite its customers, over the coming months, to open Volt bank accounts in a bid to provide enhanced security and real-time trading experiences.

Instead of depositing to BTCM trust accounts, the exchange’s customers will be able to utilize the neobank’s accounts, embedded within the exchange’s environment. Security is front of mind for the exchange, which exposed the names and email addresses of over 270,000 users when it sent out mass emails in error.

Deposits in Volt accounts are insured up to $250,000 per customer under Australia’s Financial Claims Scheme.

The partnership marks a first of its kind in the country, the companies said. It also follows a recent Senate inquiry into accusations that traditional Australian banks were “de-banking” cryptocurrency operators by denying them core banking services.

“I think it’s a shot in the arm for financial innovation in Australia,” Caroline Bowler, CEO of BTCM, told CoinDesk via Telegram. “The whole process took about three years. It was a commitment from both of us to see this through.”

Neobanks, also known as digital banks, began launching in Australia in 2018 after legislative changes to the country’s banking sector. Volt began offering its services in 2019 after obtaining an unrestricted Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution license and claims to be Australia’s first neobank.

“The first is always the hardest to get done,” said Bowler. “This partnership shows it is possible for regulated entities in Australia to partner with the right crypto providers or other fintechs.”

BTCM services more than 325,000 Australian customers and has risen to one of the country’s top marketplaces for crypto trading, per trade volume.

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