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| December 18, 2018

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Robinhood says its new checking and savings accounts are insured. SIPC says not quite

December 15, 2018 |

The Securities Investor Protection Corp. said that a new checking account from Robinhood Financial raises red flags and that the deposited funds may not be eligible for protection.

Robinhood, a no-fee stock-trading app, rolled out its take on the traditional bank account Thursday, promising a 3%…


L.A. Times – Business

Bitwala Begins Offering Bank Accounts With Bitcoin Wallet and Debit Card

December 12, 2018 |

Bitwala Begins Providing Bank Accounts With Bitcoin Wallet and Debit Card

Cryptocurrency banking provider Bitwala has started offering its banking service to cryptocurrency users in Germany, starting with 40,000 pre-registered customers. A spokesperson for the company has shared details with news.Bitcoin.com about this new service which will soon add support for additional countries and cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

New Banking Service for Crypto Users

Bitwala Begins Providing Bank Accounts With Bitcoin Wallet and Debit CardBitwala announced on Wednesday, Dec. 12, that it has started offering banking service to cryptocurrency users. “New users along with the 40,000 pre-registered customers will be onboarded one after the other based on their waitlist place,” the announcement read.

Bitwala Begins Providing Bank Accounts With Bitcoin Wallet and Debit CardThe bank accounts are hosted by Berlin-based Solarisbank. This Bitwala partner has a banking license, so it is supervised by Bafin and Bundesbank, Germany’s banking authorities.

Roman Kessler, a spokesperson for Bitwala, told news.Bitcoin.com:

For now, only German residents can go through the KYC [know-your-customer] process. Very soon, hopefully already in January, this will be extended to other jurisdictions inside of the EU.

Account opening takes a few minutes, the company noted, adding that customers need an ID to open an account. They must also complete the KYC process which includes video verification. The company also explained that “As with any bank account in Germany, all euro deposits up to €100,000 [~$ 113,274] are protected by the German Deposit Guarantee Scheme (DGS).”

Bitwala Begins Providing Bank Accounts With Bitcoin Wallet and Debit Card

Bank Account With Crypto Support

With the new Bitwala bank accounts, users will receive an Iban and a contactless debit card which will allow them to buy and sell BTC and manage expenses. The Bitwala account comes with a bitcoin wallet. Users can manage both their BTC and euro deposits in one place, the announcement describes.

Bitwala Begins Providing Bank Accounts With Bitcoin Wallet and Debit Card
A Bitwala debit card.

“The new bank account offers users SEPA transactions, easy management of recurring payments, and comes with a debit card for on-the-go payments and ATM cash withdrawals,” Christoph Iwaniez, the company’s chief financial officer, commented. “For instance, customers will be able to use their Bitwala account to receive salary payments and pay their rent. And if you want to trade bitcoin, you can draw liquidity from the same current account.”

Kessler further shared with news.Bitcoin.com:

Only bitcoin [is supported] at the moment. You can access them through a multi-sig wallet to which only you have the private key. Other cryptocurrencies to follow shortly.

He also emphasized that “The online bank account and the [debit] card are free,” but trading between BTC and EUR costs 1 percent. “According to our market research that is 5 percentage points below market average.”

What do you think of Bitwala’s new service? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Bitwala.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Bitwala Begins Offering Bank Accounts With Bitcoin Wallet and Debit Card appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Wirex Introduces Iban for All European Crypto Card Accounts

December 10, 2018 |

Wirex Introduces Iban for All Euro Accounts

Cryptocurrency debit card provider Wirex has introduced Iban support for all EUR accounts in the past few weeks. Users in the European Economic Area (EEA) are now able to fund their accounts by bank transfer and receive euro payments. They can also have their salary deposited directly into their Wirex account.  

Also read: Australian Company Issues Loans Backed by Cryptocurrencies

Iban Added to Wirex Accounts in the EEA

Wirex Introduces Iban for All European Crypto Card AccountsThe U.K.-based fintech startup has rolled out Iban functionality across Europe after a successful pilot in four countries over the last couple of months. In September, the company launched Iban support for accounts opened in Spain and France. Later Italy and Germany were added. U.K.-registered accounts had Iban numbers even earlier. The company also raised the funding limits for account holders in the EEA to £15,000, €16,000 and $ 20,000.

Iban, or international bank account number, is a system of identifying bank accounts that allows international payments. Each Iban is unique and consists of up to 34 alphanumeric characters representing country code, domestic bank account number, branch identifier, and routing information. The Iban also has two check digits which allow the verification of the number and reduce the risk of errors.

Wirex has been a popular choice for cryptocurrency users in Europe since it became the first platform to reintroduce crypto debit cards after they were suspended by Visa last year. Its cards allow users to spend several major cryptocurrencies – bitcoin core (BTC), litecoin (LTC), ethereum (ETH), and ripple (XRP) – in stores and online, anywhere Visa is accepted. That’s possible thanks to instant conversion to three leading fiat currencies – British pound (GBP), euro (EUR) and U.S. dollar (USD). Wirex wallets support all three currencies and can be linked to the Wirex plastic and virtual cards.

Expansion in North America

Wirex Introduces Iban for All European Crypto Card AccountsThe British fintech startup has announced plans to offer its services to customers in North American markets. In August, the company was granted a Fintrac and Money Service Business registration by regulators in Canada, where users can already set up and use Wirex cryptocurrency wallets. The next step is to introduce fiat currency accounts and start issuing contactless crypto debit cards.

Wirex is also preparing to launch in the United States. The company recently posted in its blog that it’s currently looking for beta testers to trial its onboarding process in the U.S. In the announcement, Wirex detailed:

We’ll soon be testing our market-leading offering on American soil for the first time. We’d like to know your thoughts – what you like, what you don’t like and if you detect any bugs that may need our attention before the launch.

Residents of seven pilot states, Nevada, Alaska, Virginia, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Louisiana, and Montana, who have a registered Wirex account have been invited to apply. Wirex will grant approved candidates access to the testing program and they will be able to try its new features before the service is rolled out to the public in the U.S.

What do you think of Wirex adding Iban support for European accounts? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Smartmockups, Wirex.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Wirex Introduces Iban for All European Crypto Card Accounts appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

The Daily: Binance Offers Multiple Accounts, Huobi Plans Institutional Exchange

December 8, 2018 |

In this edition of The Daily, cryptocurrency exchange Binance has announced support for multiple accounts and we’ve got all the details. Elsewhere, digital asset exchange Huobi wants to launch a regulated platform for institutional investors under its Gibraltar license. Finally, we cover a warning about an unauthorized crypto brokerage that has been issued by regulators in several European countries.

Also read: Coinbase Adds Paypal Withdrawals, Gazprombank to Manage Crypto Assets

Binance Introduces Subaccount Feature

Binance, currently the largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, has announced the launch of a subaccount feature for institutional clients. The upgrade will allow them to set up multiple trading accounts within an organization, providing them with improved control and asset audit tools.

Entities will be able to create up to 200 subaccounts, maintaining control over the movement of digital assets from their main account. They can also grant permissions for different access levels. Each subaccount will have its own API limits which will enable API users to trade with more freedom and capacity, the exchange detailed in a post on Medium.

The Daily: Binance Offers Multiple Accounts, Huobi Plans Institutional Exchange

Under the new arrangements, master accounts will be able to view all data and balances, transfer funds between accounts and exert managerial control. Both types of accounts can place orders, but subaccounts will be allowed to cancel only their own orders. The same applies to API features, where only master accounts will be able to delete keys.

Binance assures customers that the new feature has been designed with security in mind. “Account login information has been properly subdivided to maximize security and minimize risk,” the trading platform noted in the announcement.

Huobi to Launch Regulated Exchange for Institutions

The Daily: Binance Offers Multiple Accounts, Huobi Plans Institutional ExchangeDigital asset exchange Huobi, which was recently granted a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) license in Gibraltar, has announced plans to create a global platform for institutional customers. According to a press release, the DLT license allows the Singapore-based company to store and transmit cryptocurrencies on behalf of clients around the world. It also simplifies the exchange between fiat and digital currencies.

Lester Haoda Li, head of Global Institutional Business at Huobi’s London office, emphasized that well-designed regulatory regimes are a key part of the future for the cryptocurrency industry. He further explained:

Our Gibraltar DLT license will allow us to open a fully-regulated exchange for our Global Institutional clients and retail clients alike, so this is a big win for Huobi and a very positive step forward for our global strategy … Among other benefits, our DLT license will allow us to open doors to more institutional investors who were previously unable or unwilling to get involved in an unregulated sphere.

Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, has become a leading crypto-friendly jurisdiction in Europe. Its dedicated DLT regulatory framework entered into force at the beginning of this year. Huobi is among the first licensed crypto trading platforms. In November, the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission issued a DLT license to Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX), a subsidiary of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange.

Regulators Warn About Unlicensed Crypto Broker

The Daily: Binance Offers Multiple Accounts, Huobi Plans Institutional ExchangeThe Italian Companies and Exchange Commission, the authority regulating the securities market in Italy, has issued a warning against an online platform offering unauthorized crypto brokerage services. The regulator has ordered Solutions CM Ltd., the operator of the Originalcrypto.com website, to cease its activities that infringe the respective provisions of the Italian law.

The warning has been received and published by the Malta Financial Services Authority as well. Earlier this year, the Maltese regulator shared a similar notice issued by the Spanish National Securities Market Commission. According to the Spanish authority, Solutions CM is not authorized to provide investment services or to perform foreign currency transactions in the country.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post The Daily: Binance Offers Multiple Accounts, Huobi Plans Institutional Exchange appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

The Daly: Poloniex Offers Institutional Accounts, Okex Launches ‘Perpetual Swap’

December 6, 2018 |

The Daly: Poloniex Offers Institutional Accounts, Okex Launches Perpetual Swap

Cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex is now offering institutional accounts and we’ve covered the announcement in The Daily. Also, Okex is launching a new derivative product, while crypto derivatives exchange Erisx has raised $ 27.5 million and Nasdaq has confirmed that it’s planning to launch bitcoin futures next year.  

Also read: Binance Shows DEX Preview, Ohio to Attract Blockchain Startups With Big Investment

Poloniex Announces Institutional Accounts

The Daly: Poloniex Offers Institutional Accounts, Okex Launches Perpetual SwapU.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex has revealed that institutional accounts are now available on its platform. According to a blog post on Medium, institutional clients can take advantage of a large selection of crypto-asset trading pairs, as well as dedicated support and robust API services. The Circle subsidiary also said that it won’t charge fees on BTC/USDC trades until the end of this month.

The announcement further notes that Poloniex is focused on meeting the advanced trading needs of financial institutions. It is the latest crypto trading platform to turn its attention to institutional clients, following the lead of exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase. It hopes to attract them with higher withdrawal limits and customer support provided by a team of professional account managers.

Okex Launches New Derivative Product

The Daly: Poloniex Offers Institutional Accounts, Okex Launches Perpetual SwapOkex, currently the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily volume, has launched a new derivative called “Perpetual Swap.” In a recent announcement, the Malta-based digital asset trading platform explained that the product represents a peer-to-peer virtual derivative. Perpetual Swap has been created to allow traders to speculate on the direction of the price of major cryptocurrencies.

The new instrument resembles futures contracts, as it allows traders to take long or short positions to profit from or hedge against fluctuating asset prices. On the other hand, there is no expiry and settlement occurs on a daily basis, so traders can hold positions without time limits and withdraw their profits at any moment. According to the press release, they can leverage up to 100x.

Crypto Derivatives Exchange Erisx Raises $ 27.5M

The Daly: Poloniex Offers Institutional Accounts, Okex Launches Perpetual SwapNew crypto derivatives exchange Erisx has announced the closing of a $ 27.5 million series B funding round with the participation of major financial institutions and leading representatives of the crypto industry. The new investors include Nasdaq Ventures, Fidelity Investments, Monex Group, Consensys and Bitmain.

The crypto startup is developing a single platform for regulated digital asset futures and spot contracts. It is already registered with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a regulated futures exchange and expects to secure a license to operate as a clearing organization.

Erisx wants to launch the spot and futures contracts in the second quarter of 2019. The exchange also plans to introduce support for deposits, withdrawals and trading of several leading cryptocurrencies — bitcoin core (BTC), bitcoin bash (BCH), ether (ETH) and litecoin (LTC).

Nasdaq Confirms Reports About Bitcoin Futures

The Daly: Poloniex Offers Institutional Accounts, Okex Launches Perpetual SwapA representative of Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange, has confirmed reports about its plans to launch BTC futures in 2019. “Bitcoin futures will be listed and it should launch in the first half of next year,” Joseph Christinat, vice-president of Nasdaq’s media team, told the British Daily Express. He noted that the exchange is currently waiting for the go-ahead from the CFTC.

“We’ve seen plenty of speculation and rumors about what we might be doing, but no one has thought to come to us and ask if we can confirm it, so, here you go — we’re doing this, and it’s happening,” Christinat added.

He also revealed that Nasdaq has been focusing on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology for some time, despite this year’s market losses.

“We’ve put a hell of a lot of money and energy into delivering the ability to do this and we’ve been all over it for a long time — way before the market went into turmoil, and that will not affect the timing of this in any way,” Christinat stressed.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post The Daly: Poloniex Offers Institutional Accounts, Okex Launches ‘Perpetual Swap’ appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Chilean Court Rules in Favor of Closing Bank Accounts of Crypto Exchange Orionx

December 6, 2018 |

Chilean Court Rules in Favor of Closing Bank Accounts of Crypto Exchange Orionx

In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of Chile has ruled that state-owned Bancoestado was justified in closing the accounts of cryptocurrency exchange Orionx without explanation. The judges ruled that the bank acted in compliance with laws on money laundering and terrorist financing, a threat allegedly posed by censorship-resistant, decentralized cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Finma: Crypto Startups Can Handle up to $ 100M Deposits in Switzerland

Cryptocurrencies Lack ‘Intrinsic Value’

Chilean Court Rules in Favor of Closing Bank Accounts of Crypto Exchange Orionx

Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are not legally recognized in Chile, but they are not banned, either. Nonetheless, the ruling has significant implications for relations between banks and crypto exchanges. Commercial banks can now shut down exchange accounts without notice, while pointing to laws on money laundering and terrorist financing.

According to local media reports, the Supreme Court claimed that digital assets lack “physical manifestation” and “have no intrinsic value.” It also took issue with the fact that they are not controlled or issued by governments or companies.

“These characteristics and elements determine, therefore, the current impossibility for the bank to comply with the aforementioned obligations,” said the court in its judgment. “It prevents it from knowing in depth (of) the financial activities related to cryptocurrencies developed by the appellant, the most relevant characteristics of its operations, the foundations on which these are supported and, finally, if their amounts are excessive or not.”

The court added:

It is precisely this impossibility of knowledge and of fulfilling the duties that weigh on the bank, which gives support to the decision to close the bank account of the plaintiff, which consequently cannot be called arbitrary.

Bank Cuts Ties With Crypto Exchanges

Bancoestado closed the accounts of Orionx in March, claiming that it did not want to “operate with companies that are dedicated to the issuance or creation, brokerage, intermediation or serve as a platform for the so-called cryptocurrencies.” The decision was sudden and was meant to affect three digital asset exchanges — Orionx, Buda and Crypto Mkt.

Eventually, a notice of closure was only sent out to Orionx. The trading platform challenged the decision in court. Bancoestado was reportedly one of only a few banks remaining that provided financial services to exchanges in Chile. Both Buda and Crypto Mkt have threatened to create their own digital bank to fill this void.

Shutting Down Competition

According to Chilean publication Emol, the Supreme Court “rejected” Orionx’s appeal because it was “clear that the respondent, by ordering the closure of the bank account, did not” act “in an arbitrary and illegal” manner. It said the closure did not “cause Orionx deprivation, disturbance or threat in the legitimate exercise of any of the constitutional guarantees…”

Chilean Court Rules in Favor of Closing Bank Accounts of Crypto Exchange Orionx

Commercial banks in some parts of the world are using money laundering laws and terrorism-funding regulations as convenient excuses to cripple cryptocurrency transactions. In Nigeria, for example, Union Bank has shut down customer accounts that it suspected of having links to virtual currency. Several exchanges in Brazil have also had their accounts frozen on similar charges.

Banks can claim to be acting in accordance with the law, but it is also clear that they are acting in self-interest to eliminate competition. Compared to bank transfers, cryptocurrencies have proven to be a more efficient, faster and cheaper way of sending money across borders. For example, transfers sent on the Bitcoin Cash network generally cost under $ 0.10 for any amount. That compares with anything above $ 3 for popular debit and credit cards such as Visa or Mastercard.

What do you think about the decision of the Supreme Court in Chile? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Express yourself freely at Bitcoin.com’s user forums. We don’t censor on political grounds. Check forum.Bitcoin.com.

The post Chilean Court Rules in Favor of Closing Bank Accounts of Crypto Exchange Orionx appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Outrage Over Union Bank of Nigeria’s Threat to Close Crypto-Related Accounts

November 28, 2018 |

Nigerian digital asset owners have reacted angrily to Union Bank’s threat to close all cryptocurrency-linked accounts. Investors have accused the local banking system of hypocrisy, asserting that banks are “unfit” and “scammers” that continue to steal from the poor through spurious charges such as ATM maintenance fees and SMS alerts.

Also read: Nigeria’s Union Bank Threatens to Shut Down Cryptocurrency-Related Accounts

‘Illiterate Banks Stifling Innovation’

Union Bank of Nigeria will with immediate effect begin monitoring accounts used for digital currency trading with a view to shutting these down without explanation, the bank said in notices to its customers this week. The bank claims it is acting in line with past warnings from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on virtual currency trading.

However, cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts riled by the bank’s decision have taken to Twitter to express their disgust, questioning the integrity and financial literacy of the banking sector.

Outrage Over Union Bank of Nigeria’s Threat to Close Crypto-Related Accounts

Adekola Seyi initiated a thread accusing Union Bank of lacking basic research abilities and faulted the country’s financial system for retrogressive tendencies. Seyi regretfully hinted that other conservative banks may soon be following suit.

Another Twitter user, Omuswe Precious, said that Nigeria’s banks are hostile to innovation while the world is fast moving ahead. He posted:

Y’all sit there lazying about while d global market cap for cryptocurrencies is already worth more than your ancient institution. Guess this sort of laziness is d reason it takes your bank over 10 working days to reverse failed transactions whn other banks are on auto-reversal.

The collective outrage follows a statement issued by the bank to its account holders warning them to desist from transacting in cryptocurrency, in which it said: “In order to guarantee the security of our customers’ funds, Union Bank will monitor accounts being used for cryptocurrency transactions and may impose restrictions including closure of such accounts.” The 100-year-old bank cited a series of cautionary statements from the CBN, which apparently do not completely prohibit virtual currency trading, to support its decision.

‘Worst Scammers’

Precious said the move was characteristic of the hypocrisy of Nigerian banks, whom he described as the “worst scammers.” He called out banks for manipulative charges for SMS alerts, card maintenance and other unmerited fees that are poisoning public trust in the institutions.

Outrage Over Union Bank of Nigeria’s Threat to Close Crypto-Related Accounts

“Come to think of it, the ATM maintenance fee that gets deducted from customers’ accounts hasn’t been labelled as scam yet! Our banking system is unfit and am sure one day banks will be a store for private keys and wallet addresses,” tweeted Awosika Ayodeji, echoing this sentiment.

Seyi broke down the operation of blockchain in simple terms to illustrate Union Bank’s supposed misreading of both the technology and the CBN directive. “Blockchain transactions are not done on your [bank’s] network … then why the cry. Why can’t you tell #Nigerians how you will block what is not happening on your system?”

Another Twitter user put the bank’s statement down to financial illiteracy on the part of the its staff. “I see we don’t go this way cos of our underpaid brothers and sisters that still work in the banks. However I dared @Unionbank_Ng to on behalf of the central bank publish their detailed report on #cryptocurrency and their research studies on #blockchain!”

Outrage Over Union Bank of Nigeria’s Threat to Close Crypto-Related Accounts

In January 2017, the central bank released a circular to financial institutions asking them not to use, hold or trade virtual currencies pending “substantive regulation and or [a] decision by the CBN.” A follow-up in February 2018 reiterated the same warning, adding that “virtual currencies are not legal tender in Nigeria … we wish to caution all and sundry on the risks inherent in such activities.”

The Union Bank’s sudden decision to monitor accounts has sent panic into Nigeria’s digital asset community. Reports have started to emerge of nervous crypto investors already withdrawing their money to avoid the possibility of their accounts being frozen.

What are your thoughts on banks closing accounts that have links with cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Express yourself freely at Bitcoin.com’s user forums. We don’t censor on political grounds. Check forum.Bitcoin.com.

The post Outrage Over Union Bank of Nigeria’s Threat to Close Crypto-Related Accounts appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Nigeria’s Union Bank Threatens to Shut Down Cryptocurrency-Related Accounts

November 27, 2018 |

Nigeria's Union Bank Threatens to Shut Down Cryptocurrency-Related Accounts

A large commercial bank in Nigeria has threatened to shut down an undisclosed number of cryptocurrency-related accounts without explanation. Lagos-based Union Bank claims that any decision to do so would be in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) past warnings about cryptocurrency trading.

Also read: Malaysian MP “Concerned About Threat” From Cryptocurrencies to Government Money

Panicky Customers Empty Account Balances

In a statement to account holders this week, Union Bank of Nigeria warned: “In order to guarantee the security of our customers’ funds, Union Bank will monitor accounts being used for cryptocurrency transactions and may impose restrictions including closure of such accounts.” The 100-year-old bank, which has $ 3.84 billion in assets, cited a series of cautionary statements from the CBN, which apparently do not completely prohibit virtual currency trading, to support its decision.

Nigeria’s Union Bank Threatens to Shut Down Cryptocurrency-Related Accounts

In January 2017, the central bank released a circular to financial institutions asking them not to use, hold or trade virtual currencies pending “substantive regulation and or (a) decision by the CBN.” A follow-up statement in February 2018 reiterated the same warning, but added “that virtual currencies are not legal tender in Nigeria … we wish to caution all and sundry on the risks inherent in such activities.”

However, Union Bank’s sudden decision to monitor accounts has shaken the west African country’s digital asset industry, the continent’s biggest. Reports have started to emerge of nervous crypto investors already withdrawing their money to avoid the possibility of their accounts being frozen.

Munachi Ogueke, co-founder of Cryset LLC — a Lagos-based over-the-counter bitcoin trading platform — told news.Bitcoin.com that several people within the Nigeria cryptocurrency space had received notifications of possible account closures from Union Bank. “Many are emptying their accounts and closing them down,” Ogueke said.

Anti-Money Laundering Regulations?

Nigeria’s Union Bank Threatens to Shut Down Cryptocurrency-Related AccountsIt is difficult to understand the motivation behind Union Bank’s unexpected assault on cryptocurrency-linked accounts. The matter is even more unclear in light of the CBN’s warnings, as neither of them explicitly said that cryptocurrency transactions were illegal. But Ogueke has suggested that commercial banks may have been given carte blanche by the CBN to close customer accounts without explanation, as long as their actions are in accordance with anti-money laundering rules.

Citing the January 2017 central bank circular, Ogueke explained:

Banks and other financial institutions that have cryptocurrency customers have the authority and can discontinue the relationship with such customers where the banks are not satisfied with the AML/CFT controls that enable compliance with the identification, verification, and transaction monitoring requirements.

Ogueke added: “In the absence of any regulation from the CBN, it can be safely concluded that the CBN by this circular, has given banks (such as Union Bank) the power to close accounts of cryptocurrency customers if the customer breaches anti-money laundering control requirements and where there are suspicious transactions.”

But Union Bank has said that its decision to monitor accounts does not mean that it necessarily suspects that some customers are violating anti-money laundering laws. Rather, it says it is becoming more vigilant to protect client funds, but Ogueke said he is doubtful, describing its justification as “flimsy.”

Nigeria’s Union Bank Threatens to Shut Down Cryptocurrency-Related Accounts
Munachi Ogueke

“How is blocking accounts associated with bitcoin securing the funds of your customers?” he quipped.

No other bank is known to have issued a similar threat. When news.Bitcoin.com reached out to Union Bank for comment, it repeated the statement it had sent out to its customers.

What do you think of Union Bank’s decision? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Express yourself freely at Bitcoin.com’s user forums. We don’t censor on political grounds. Check forum.Bitcoin.com.

The post Nigeria’s Union Bank Threatens to Shut Down Cryptocurrency-Related Accounts appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Lavish Expense Accounts Can Make or Break a CEO

November 25, 2018 |

One of the biggest perks of being a high-level executive is a flush expense account. But allegations of misusing it can quickly undo a career.
WSJ.com: US Business

5 critical settings so hackers can’t access your bank accounts

November 11, 2018 |

You need to assume that your password isn’t strong enough. You might as well believe that someone, somewhere, is working around the clock to break into your accounts and steal your money, your identity, and anything else you have. Because it’s essentially true.
FOX News