Bankera calls itself a digital bank for the blockchain era. It's a gargantuan project that raised over $100 million during its ICO. In this guide, you'll get an understanding of the climate and context from which Bankera is rising, and at the end, we'll cover the advantages and disadvantages Bankera has over traditional and crypto banking options.
Banks Have a Love/Hate Relationship With Blockchain
Blockchain and banks: up to now, the two have had a very tense relationship. Banks don't seem to like or trust blockchain. Is it because they feel threatened by the rise of digital currencies? No one can say for sure, but throughout cryptocurrency's rise, banks have been less than willing to accommodate digital asset infrastructure.
In fact, the 2018 bear market was kicked off at least in part by South Korean banks declaring war on cryptocurrency exchanges. Nonghyup Bank, amongst others, forced their exchange partners to stop verifying new exchange accounts, essentially putting a freeze on the expansion of the valuable South Korean crypto market.
Exchanges aside, banks moved from a denial phase to one of aggressive adoption and hoarding of blockchain tech for themselves. Bank of America holds the most blockchain patents of any company in the world in one hand, but with the other it disparages cryptocurrency.
The two faced approach banks and financial institutions have used toward crypto has caused the growing blockchain userbase to become weary of them. Moreover, combined with an already tenuous relationship going back to the global financial crisis beginning in 2008, banks will find themselves on the back foot when and if a blockchain-based bank alternative emerges.
Blockchain Banking With Bankera
Bankera's mission statement is contained within their somewhat clever name: Banking for the blockchain era. What is it about the blockchain that Bankera is using to create their digital bank?
Essentially, Bankera hopes to become a bank just as banks exist now but intends to replace all of the incongruous, inefficient, and high-friction processes present in the current banking system with blockchain. In Bankera's view, replacing all of the moving parts, paperwork, and outdated software systems with blockchain will streamline processes and reduce fees, wait times, and frustration for everyone.
Bankera refers to banks as financial "one-stop shops" and is aiming to offer the same to a digital banking crowd that is friendly to crypto. To begin with, the main products offered by Bankera include a crypto brokerage, an exchange platform, crypto loans, and AI-based investments tools (ETFs, trading, custody).
Down the road, Bankera plans to enable traditional banking features like deposits/withdrawals, debit cards, and payments.
At this point it's important to mention that Bankera isn't working alone -- Bankera is an operational fork of SpectroCoin. What is meant by this is Bankera is the banking arm of SpectroCoin, whereas SpectroCoin itself is the crypto exchange and wallet side of the operation. Through SpectroCoin, users can currently get IBANs (international bank account number), which presumably will be linked to Bankera accounts in the future.
Banker Token (BNK)
Bankera's native token, Banker (BNK), is currently an ERC-20 token with several ecosystem use cases. First and foremost, BNK was used to raise over $100 million in one of the highest value ICOs to date. Bankera had hoped to raise over $200 billion -- so, to that extent, they fell quite short of their target.
What will appeal to most prospective investors is the dividend-share model accessed by holding BNK tokens. 20% of Bankera and SpectroCoin's weekly generated revenue will be shared with BNK token holders via smart contracts -- the greater the adoption and use of Bankera/SpectroCoin, the more revenue generated, the more is shared with BNK holders.
While the dividend-share model makes BNK a security token, it does have utility as well. If you choose to pay for Bankera services using BNK tokens, those services will be charged at a discounted rate.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Bankera
Let's start with the good. Across the board, those involved in blockchain and cryptocurrency in general would likely agree that traditional banking solutions are insufficient for trading and otherwise supporting cryptocurrency activities. Current banks don't recognize cryptocurrencies and definitely don't issue personal loans or offer investment solutions with them/for them.
If Bankera can come through on their vision to replace traditional banks with blockchain-based solutions, then progressive digital banking has a place in the near future.
This does, however, tie in with the bad. Bankera's solutions don't seem groundbreaking in almost any regard. Their ICO was one of the largest in history and yet their whitepaper is full of basic grammar and spelling mistakes, is light on details, even lighter on experienced leadership, and essentially describes building a bank that already exists, albeit with some blockchain touches here and there.
If Bankera thinks that traditional banks haven't already considered replacing their tired paper-banking systems with blockchain, they should think again.