The San Juan Mercantile Exchange Inc. (SJMX) and the San Juan Mercantile Bank & Trust International Corp. (SJMBT) today announced that SJMBT has received its license to operate from the Puerto Rico Office of the Commission of Financial Institutions.
The license authorizes SJMBT to operate as an International Financial Entity (IFE) under OCIF’s banking regulations, subject to the rules of the Bank Secrecy Act, including all applicable “Know Your Customer” and “Anti-Money Laundering” regulations, the institution said.
“This approval is a key milestone for us, establishing an end-to-end solution for institutional customers who seek a familiar, efficient and secure way to trade digital currencies,” said Bo Collins, CEO of Mercantile Global Holdings, the parent of both SJMX and SJMBT.
SJMX and its banking entity SJMBT are developing a professional-grade trading environment and integrated banking platform for trading digital assets, providing customers with access to a variety of digital asset liquidity venues, the company stated.
Customer balances on deposit with SJMBT will in turn inform real-time trading limits at SJMX, and SJMBT will settle all trades routed through SJMBT on a real-time basis. Customer fiat
currency and digital assets will be held by regulated correspondent banking partners and approved digital asset custodians.
“Our approval as a regulated bank under OCIF banking regulations was a critical step in our progress to launching our trading and banking platform,” said SJMBT COO Nick Varelakis.
Diversification of assets across multiple custody partners greatly reduces the need for physical movement of digital assets, improves security, reduces cost and results in faster processing, executives said.
“We believe the infrastructurewe have developed will deliver immediate benefits to our clients by offering a more secure and efficient platform for the trading and settlement of digital assets,” Varelakis said.
SJMX and SJMBTwill provide an end-to-end solution, from matching trades to clearing and custody of both digital assets and fiat currencies.
“International Financial Entities like SJMBT are an important part of the developing financial infrastructure in Puerto Rico, designed to support the growing digital asset industry, which is a notable component of the government’s economic development plan,” said Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Laboy.
“We welcome SJMBT as an innovator in this space. Puerto Rico offers the safety and soundness of U.S. regulated financial institutions, with a strong commitment to flexibility and innovation in the future,” he said.