Various cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum soared at the end of 2020 and into the new year, albeit with a lot of volatility, in typical crypto fashion. The huge burst of activity has highlighted several banks that are catering to crypto customers by leveraging blockchain technology to develop specialized payments systems and offer niche banking products. And many of these banks are being rewarded by shareholders for their innovation. Here are three banks that have big plans for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

1. Silvergate Capital

The top-performing bank stock of 2020, Silvergate Capital (NYSE:SI) went public toward the end of 2019, opening around $13 per share. Today, it trades for roughly $90. The bank, which has $5.6 billion in assets and is based in La Jolla, California, is most famous for the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN), a digital payments network that can instantly clear transactions in U.S. dollars around the clock, 365 days a year, between two users in the network. This is ideal for institutional crypto traders and crypto exchanges because cryptocurrencies are always trading.

A laptop with a digital bank on its screen, surrounded by charts and graphs.

Image source: Getty Images.

As one of the first banks to build this kind of network, Silvergate has a first-mover advantage. The bank has onboarded 76 crypto exchanges and 600 institutional investors onto the network, and the larger it gets the more attractive it