California-based financial institution Silvergate Capital, the parent company of Silvergate Bank, is preparing to go public to raise $50 million in an initial public offering (IPO), according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The bank has applied to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol “SI.” The company plans to use proceeds to funds its organic growth and for “general corporate purposes, which could include repayment of long-term debt, future acquisitions, and other growth initiatives.”
Silvergate Bank is best known for opening its arms to cryptocurrency exchanges and companies, who are often shunned by mainstream institutions who fear the money laundering baggage that seems to follow bitcoin and the regulatory uncertainties associated with servicing crypto firms. The bank has grown larger in recent years, drawing in clients such as Paxos, Gemini, and Kraken. Having signed its first cryptocurrency client in 2014, the Digital Currency Group, the company has gone on to generate approximately $1.7 billion from the digital currency sector, according to the filing.
The company's willingness to work with cryptocurrency companies has seen it onboard approximately 483 established and new digital currency customers as of September 30. There are also 145 prospective crypto customers currently being onboarded by the bank, where they perform “extensive regulatory compliance diligence and integrating of the customer’s technology stack for those digital currency customers interested in using our API.”
The filing states:
"As of September 30, 2018, approximately $1.7 billion, or 88.2%, of our total deposits were noninterest-bearing demand accounts[...] Substantially all of these noninterest-bearing demand accounts are deposits from our customers in the digital currency industry."
As the filing states, Silvergate's focus has moved away from that of a traditional lender to providing non-interest bearing deposits for digital currency businesses. The financial institution estimates the market for cryptocurrency banking services to be between $30 billion and $40 billion.
In 2017, Silvergate launched its proprietary digital currency solution, Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN), which facilitates the swift movement of fiat between cryptocurrency exchange and their customers 24/7, 365 days a year.
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