About Us

We see a future where all banks support digital assets and offer meaningful API capabilities to tech-savvy customers.

Avanti is a new breed of bank — a software platform with a bank charter, built to connect digital assets with the legacy financial system. Our team is deeply experienced in both. We’re not just a bank — we’re a depository institution, which means we’re eligible to become a U.S. dollar clearing bank at the Federal Reserve. Avanti offers a superior regulatory structure relative to digital asset competitors, including a full-reserve requirement for dollar deposits and a deep understanding of how digital assets (including our tokenized dollar, Avit™) can solve payment inefficiencies faced by business customers.

Why Customers Prefer to Deal With a Bank

As a state-chartered depository institution, of course Avanti has all the benefits of being a bank — plus we’re eligible to become a U.S. dollar clearing bank at the Federal Reserve (and we have applied to do so). In particular:

  • U.S. dollar clearing banks can directly clear payments for their customers at the Federal Reserve, without the cost, delays, reconciliation headaches and counterparty risk of relying on various intermediaries traditionally used.
  • Banks have 11 categories of special treatment under U.S. securities laws.
  • Banks are “qualified custodians” under the Investment Advisers Act and the SEC’s Custody Rule, while OCC-chartered trust banks and state-chartered trust companies may not be.
  • Banks are a “good control location” under the SEC’s Customer Protection Rule, while OCC-chartered trust banks and state-chartered trust companies may not be.

For the digital asset industry specifically, Avanti offers real-time settlement finality for U.S. dollar payments in digital asset transactions. Before Avanti, digital asset companies relied on other clearing entities which do not handle digital assets, increasing both credit and counterparty risk. Without direct access to U.S. dollar clearing, it is not possible for a platform to execute an “atomic swap” or settle on a “delivery-versus-payment” basis where one leg of the transaction involves fiat currency. Additionally, digital asset companies face the risk of losing access to banks that are not “crypto-friendly”. Avanti aims to fill this critical gap.

Wyoming and the Digital Asset Frontier

Wyoming has a comprehensive legal regime that addresses the legal enforceability of transactions involving digital assets. The state’s property rights-oriented approach to digital asset laws makes Wyoming the most investor-friendly state for digital asset investors.

In 2019, the Wyoming Legislature enacted HB 74, which authorized the chartering of special purpose depository institutions (SPDIs). These institutions are banks that receive deposits and conduct other incidental activities, including fiduciary asset management, custody, and related activities, but cannot lend customer fiat deposits and must instead hold them 100% in reserve.

As a Wyoming SPDI, Avanti offers its customers the protections of Wyoming’s customer-friendly bailment laws, which are designed to ensure that legal title to a digital asset remains with a customer electing to custody it at the bank. In other words, customer assets are legally segregated from other assets of the institution. Bailment provides superior protections over many of the existing solutions currently offered in the market.

Who we are

Avanti’s executive team has deep experience in both traditional financial services and digital assets.

Caitlin Long

Chief Executive Officer

Caitlin is Chairman & CEO of Avanti. A 22-year Wall Street veteran who has been active in Bitcoin since 2012, Caitlin volunteered to help Wyoming’s lawmakers create an oasis for blockchain companies in the U.S. From 2016-18 she jointly spearheaded a blockchain project for delivering market index data to Vanguard at a previous start-up. On Wall Street, Caitlin ran Morgan Stanley’s pension solutions business (2007-2016), held senior roles at Credit Suisse (1997-2007) and began her career at Salomon Brothers (1994-1997). She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.P.P. from the Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from the University of Wyoming.

Bryan Bishop

Chief Technology Officer

Bryan is Chief Technology Officer and Director of Avanti. Bryan’s background includes software development, consulting, and biotech. As a Bitcoin Core contributor, he has performed code review for the Bitcoin project, and has participated in the open-source Bitcoin development process. From 2014 to 2018, Bryan was senior blockchain engineer and Bitcoin custody architect of LedgerX, the first CFTC-regulated options exchange and clearinghouse for digital assets. In January 2009 Bryan received the original email introducing Bitcoin from Satoshi Nakamoto, which he dismissed at the time but later changed his mind and has since dedicated his talents to it.

Zev Shimko

Chief Operating Officer

Zev is Chief Operating Officer of Avanti. Prior to joining Avanti, Zev was a director at Figure Technologies, focusing on its enterprise blockchain efforts. Zev has held senior capital markets and corporate development roles at various Fintech companies including Upstart Holdings, Prosper Marketplace, and SALT Lending. Zev started his career at Morgan Stanley in global capital markets, where he was promoted as part of its STAR program and where he and Caitlin worked together. Zev received his B.S. from Northeastern University.

Chuck Thompson

Chief Legal Officer / Chief Compliance Officer

Chuck is Chief Legal Officer and Chief Compliance Officer of Avanti. He has been active in Bitcoin since 2011. Prior to joining Avanti, Chuck was CEO of Blockchain Consulting LLC and was chief compliance officer of LedgerX, where he and Bryan worked together. Before that, he was in house counsel at capital markets firms, including Morgan Stanley, and practiced law at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton and Shearman & Sterling. Chuck holds a J.D. from the University of Illinois and a B.A. from Miami University.

Mike Borges, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Mike is the Chief Financial Officer of Avanti. He joined Avanti from Beneficial State Bank in Oakland, California, after serving as the Controller for five years, building its FDICIA internal controls program, successfully implementing systems supporting core banking and related integrations, along with overseeing accounting operations. As a CPA, Mike previously held accounting roles at Bay Area technology companies Mosaic and Hotwire. Prior to this he spent nearly nine years in public accounting with Moss Adams LLP, where he served community banks, other financial service companies and other mid-size public and private companies.