Patrick Sells of Quontic Bank joins the crypto company NYDIG

Patrick Sells, chief innovation officer at Quontic Bank, joins NYDIG, a provider of investment and technology solutions tied to bitcoin and other digital assets. He will be head of bank solutions of the startup fintech.

The new job is a natural evolution of the work he has been doing at Quontic, a New York-based bank that has $ 1.4 billion of assets, said Sells, who was named American Banker of America Digital Banker of the Year in May.

Patrick Sells, chief innovation officer, Quontic Bank

“The catalyst for why I joined Quontic [Bank] a belief that bitcoin and banking should be more symbiotic, ”said Patrick Sells, who is leaving the bank to join fintech NYDIG New York.

“The catalyst for why I joined Quontic was a belief that bitcoin and banking should be more symbiotic,” says Sells. “We started the process of working with the Office of the Currency Manager, and were one of the leading banks on changing the regulations around what a bank could do with bitcoin.”

Sells was chosen Digital Banker of the Year because of the digital transformation he led during his two years at Quontic. For example, he helped create a data layer called Quontic.Works that enabled the bank to quickly generate reports and make decisions based on real-time data. He helped create a three-minute process for opening digital accounts. And he and CEO Steven Schall began educating employees about cryptocurrency and developing products around bitcoin.

NYDIG has launched a bitcoin rewards machine that can be plugged into any existing credit or checking account. It can be used to pay interest in bitcoin rather than fiat currency.

Bitcoin rewards could be the only type of reward that appreciates in value, Sells noted.

“When you earn a mile at an airline or hotel, that’s never going to become worth more than it is today,” Sells said. “And it’s not liquid. The bitcoin reward could increase in value over time, and it’s liquid. It could also decrease. But for most people, if their Marriott points drop in value, they are not upset .I think bitcoin rewards on credit cards, checking accounts and certificates of deposit will become board bets. “

In his new job, Sells will create bitcoin-related products for banks.

“More than 38 million Americans own bitcoin, and that’s despite the fact that the major financial entities in their lives, banks or credit unions, have not made bitcoin accessible,” Sells said.

The OCC’s announcement in July that national banks could hold cryptocurrency assets as part of their custody services was “a great starting point,” said Sells. “NYDIG has proven that it can build the infrastructure, and now I hope, given my experience of understanding the core providers and drawing up a compliance framework for bitcoin, that I can play a role in serving the industry.”

Sells will work with banks and credit unions to help them launch products such as white-labeled bitcoin custody solutions “so that consumers and businesses can buy, sell and hold bitcoin through their trusted banking relationships and not crypto exchange lonely, “he said. Or, it could “help those same financial institutions launch innovative products like bitcoin rewards programs, which I would consider to be the most powerful type of rewards program because bitcoin can appreciate in value and be easily liquidated. ”

In research conducted by Quontic, 22% of Americans who own bitcoin said they would switch their main checking account to a checking account with bitcoin rewards. Sells said he has spoken to more than 200 bankers in the past year, about half of whom asked about cryptocurrency.

“Today there are only a handful of banks in this space, but after the OCC announced [that banks can hold digital currency] late summer, many banks have been asking about bitcoin and what are you doing with it? “he said.” Forty million Americans own bitcoin. So here it is and my belief is that banks should play a part in it. People trust banks. “

The leadership principles that Sells has tried to adhere to at Quontic and will bring to NYDIG are kindness, humility and focus, he said.

“When I came to Quontic, I didn’t understand bank operations,” he said. “I didn’t understand the life of a teller. But I spent time with a teller, I understood their job. Our job as leaders is to live that way: be kind, humble and focused. When you do that you can bring a team together and come up with the best ideas. “