CEO of Blockchain Startup Acquires U.S.-Based Bank
Jeffrey Berns, a 56-year-old consumer protection lawyer, cryptocurrency millionaire and CEO of Blockchains LLC, a distributed ledger technology (DLT) firm created in 2017, has purchased Kirkwood Bank of Nevada for $28 million. The move is part of Berns’ broader plans to build a decentralized financial ecosystem powered by blockchain technology, according to a press release on July 1, 2019.
Bitcoin Whale Acquires Kirkwood Bank
As stated in a press release, Jeffrey Berns, a former attorney specialized in consumer lending and consumer fraud class actions, has completed the acquisition of Kirkwood Bank of Nevada through JBNV Holding Corp., a bank holding company led by Berns and incorporated in 2018.
Interestingly, Berns, who announced plans last year to establish a blockchain technology hub and e-sports arena on a massive chunk of Nevada desert, has made it clear that the acquisition of the community bank is aimed at ensuring that his DLT-focused business will always have access to banking services.
“Buying the financial institution was basically security for me to make sure that Blockchains and myself had access to the financial system.”
At a time when lenders in various jurisdictions are reluctant to service crypto and blockchain-powered businesses due to the super volatile and unregulated nature of the burgeoning industry, Berns says his new bank will open its doors to credible crypto projects.
“Kirkwood Bank will create an environment where the blockchain ecosystem and legitimate businesses trying to build real projects that are going to empower the masses and better the world, have a bank that understands what they are doing and isn’t fearful,” he added.
Kirkwood Bank of Nevada, a subsidiary of Kirkwood Bancorporation of Nevada, was established in 2008. It operates two branches in Las Vegas, with a whopping $88.6 million in assets, $72.8 million in total loans and leases, and $74.8 million in deposits as of March 31, 2019.
Bern’s startup, Blockchains LLC, focuses on developing DLT solutions powered by the Ethereum smart contracts network.
Berns hinted at finding a way to legally merge Blockchains LLC with the bank, to enable the former to develop blockchain-based fintech solutions for Kirkwood Bank of Nevada shortly.