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Bitcoin payments startup BitPay wants to create a national bank in Georgia

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Bitcoin payments company BitPay has filed paperwork with the top U.S. banking regulator to create a national bank.

Details of the effort were published in a December 8 legal notice published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The notice offered some detail on the application submitted to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The proposed bank — BitPay National Trust Bank — would be headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia — a suburb of the state capital of Atlanta. The listed address on the notice is the same for BitPay's headquarters.

BitPay's C-suite is listed as the proposed national bank's organizers. These include co-founder and CEO Stephen Pair, co-founder Tony Gallippi, CFO Jagruti Solanki, general counsel and chief compliance officer Eden Doniger, and chief marketing officer William Zielke. 

The submission represents the latest effort by a firm in the cryptocurrency space to create a banking institution. Crypto exchange Kraken is forming a bank in the U.S. state of Wyoming, which is also home to another crypto-centric banking effort, Avanti

"We confirm BitPay has filed an application with the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to establish BitPay National Trust Bank. A national trust bank is a limited purpose national bank that engages in trust activities," Doniger told The Block in a statement, adding:

"The OCC is at the forefront of government regulation of the cryptocurrency industry.  Our operations as a national trust bank will be subject to strict safety and soundness requirements which will provide our customers with assurances that our services remain best in class and allow us to be subject to a uniform regulatory framework."

"This is the first step of many on our journey to launch a chartered institution," Doniger went on to say. "We applaud the OCC’s leadership in recognizing the need for innovation to facilitate regulation of cryptocurrency participants at a national level."

BitPay, founded in 2011, offers a payments app as well as a prepaid Mastercard product.

Frank Chaparro contributed reporting.

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