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| May 22, 2018

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Fed nominees slam Wells Fargo for consumer abuses and indicate bank’s growth cap will be tough to lift

May 16, 2018 |

Two Federal Reserve nominees on Tuesday slammed Wells Fargo & Co., for its consumer abuses and indicated that they would have to see significant improvements before voting to lift a cap on the San Francisco bank’s growth.

“Just based upon the news accounts, which of course is all I have to go on,…

L.A. Times – Business

India’s Supreme Court Keeps Ban on Banks’ Crypto Services, For Now

May 13, 2018 |

India’s Supreme Court Keeps Ban on Banks’ Crypto Services, For Now

According to a team of Indian lawyers, the Supreme Court of India refused request for a temporary injunction against restrictions imposed on banks regarding cryptocurrency by the country’s central bank. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a circular essentially banning crypto services, which will remain in place at least until a formal hearing.

Also read: Bitcoin’s Anonymous $ 55 Million Pineapple Fund Gives Final Donation

Indian Supreme Court Denies Grant of Injunction Against RBI

Crypto Kanoon (@cryptokanoon) is a group of lawyers active in the space concerned with regulatory analysis and legal awareness. They’ve been particular watchful of goings on regarding India’s central bank, RBI, and its recent circular demanding banks it serves shut down any business with cryptocurrency companies.

Through a petition challenging the RBI ban, enthusiasts hoped by this week to see some relief at the country’s highest court. An interim measure employed by most courts around the world is to cease a particularly controversial action until such time as a final decision can be made. And it was just such a move crypto advocates were hoping would be followed during the petition’s consideration: allow banks to continue serving cryptocurrency clients as they had prior to the RBI ban.

India’s Supreme Court Keeps Ban on Banks’ Crypto Services, For Now

Yesterday, the Supreme Court instead declined an interim injunction, for now allowing the RBI ban to stay in place. It was a blow to the near dozen representatives from India’s crypto community. It is important to note that such a procedural decision theoretically has no bearing on the eventual outcome of the petition for relief itself. The case will return before the Supreme Court May 17th.

The Reserve Bank of India’s circular from April ordered “with immediate effect, entities regulated by the Reserve Bank shall not deal in VCs [(virtual currencies)] or provide services for facilitating any person or entity in dealing with or settling VCs.” The ban appears to be rather comprehensive in scope, including “maintaining accounts, registering, trading, settling, clearing, giving loans against virtual tokens, accepting them as collateral, opening accounts of exchanges dealing with them and transfer / receipt of money in accounts relating to purchase / sale of VCs.”

Indian Crypto Community Pushes Back

West Bengal’s Dwaipayan Bhowmik was the originator of a petition, asking government to regulate cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin core (BTC). His request was to galvanize the various ministries, from the country’s Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI) to the Reserve Bank itself. Mr. Bhowmik was quoted by regional media as wishing “to prevent financial crimes such as money laundering, flesh trade, etc.”

A quirk of the judicial appeal process in the world’s second most populated country is to allow petitioners, no matter their side advocacy, to appeal together. Two petitioners are diametrically opposed on the issue, in other words, with one wanting an outright ban and the other wanting it formally recognized by the government. For his part, Mr. Bhowmik insisted he falls in neither camp. “I just want it to be regulated,” he said.

India’s Supreme Court Keeps Ban on Banks’ Crypto Services, For Now

There is yet another case, filed by crypto exchange startup Coil Recoil and various exchanges, to be heard in the Delhi High Court May 24th. The two cases are unrelated. As reported in these pages, many felt “the RBI directive is arbitrary and a violation of the Constitution of India, and the court should therefore quash it. The document presented to the count, which has obtained, explains that due to the RBI Circular the company will not be able to secure banking services that are imperative for the business’ operations rendering it ‘stillborn.’”

Whatever the case, May promises to be a critical month for India’s crypto community.

Do you think India’s Supreme Court will overturn the RBI ban? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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

The post India’s Supreme Court Keeps Ban on Banks’ Crypto Services, For Now appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Greek Banks Get the All Clear From European Regulators

May 6, 2018 |

Greece’s biggest banks received a clean bill of health from Europe’s regulators, an important step toward the completion of an eight-year bailout program that has strained the country’s economy. What’s News Europe

Post offices that are also banks? Genius idea. But don’t hold your breath

May 1, 2018 |

File this under Excellent Ideas That Should Definitely Happen But Probably Won’t.

Last week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, introduced legislation to create a Postal Bank, empowering the nation’s vast network of post offices to offer checking and savings accounts, and to provide…

L.A. Times – Business

Court Orders Chilean Banks to Re-Open Crypto Exchange Accounts

April 27, 2018 |

Court Orders Chilean Banks to Re-Open Crypto Exchange Accounts

Chile’s anti-monopoly court has ordered two major banks in the country to re-open accounts for a cryptocurrency exchange after it filed a lawsuit against 10 banks accusing them of anti-competitive behavior. The two banks must enter into a new contract with the crypto exchange under the same terms and conditions as before.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Court Rules in Favor of Crypto Exchange

Chile’s Court for the Defense of Free Competition (TDLC – Tribunal de Defensa de la Libre Competencia) has ordered Banco del Estado de Chile (Bancoestado) and Itau Corpbanca (Itau) to re-open the accounts of a local cryptocurrency exchange, Buda, during the course of its lawsuit against 10 banks, local media reported.

Court Orders Chilean Banks to Re-Open Crypto Exchange Accounts

Earlier this month, Buda (formerly Surbtc) sued 10 banks after they closed the exchange’s accounts, along with the accounts of Orionx and Cryptomkt exchanges. The ten banks named in the suit include Bancoestado, Itau, Santander, Bci, Banco de Chile, Scotiabank, Bice, and Bbva, according to Diario Financiero.

The news outlet elaborated on the court’s Thursday ruling:

[The ruling is] an unprecedented precautionary measure binding Bancoestado and Itau to enter into a new current account contract with the operator [Buda], while the case is proceeding.

Court Orders Chilean Banks to Re-Open Crypto Exchange AccountsThe court also added in its order for the two banks to sign the contract with Buda “under the same terms of the contracts described between said parties previously,” the publication conveyed and quoted the court declaring, “the foregoing, inasmuch as the requested precautionary measure is necessary to prevent the eventual negative effects of the conduct submitted to this Tribunal.”

Lawsuits Against Banks

Court Orders Chilean Banks to Re-Open Crypto Exchange AccountsBuda “also asked the court to punish the 10 banks with the maximum of the fine established in DL211, with costs, and ordered [them] to stop the practice indicated, without prejudice to other measures deemed appropriate to the effect,” the news outlet described and noted that Buda accused the banks of executing:

Anticompetitive behavior consisting of abuse of their collective dominance position and by engaging in an abusive exploitation that excludes their dominant position…with the purpose or effect of preventing, restricting and hindering competition in the affected markets.

Last month, after a number of Chilean banks shut down their accounts, Buda and Cryptomkt called on the country’s banking association (ABIF – Asociación de Bancos e Instituciones Financieras) to issue a clear position regarding the crypto industry.

What do you think of the court’s order? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Elquintopoder.

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

The post Court Orders Chilean Banks to Re-Open Crypto Exchange Accounts appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Central Bank of Iran Bans Banks from Crypto

April 23, 2018 |

Central Bank of Iran Bans Banks from Crypto

Iran’s central bank has issued a statement banning the country’s banks and financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, citing money laundering and terrorism financing risks. However, the local crypto community in Iran believes that the ban will not affect them and some exchanges continue to operate normally.

Also read: Russian Regulators Draft Law to Restrict Crypto Mining, Payments, and Token Sales

Banned by Central Bank

Central Bank of Iran Bans Banks from CryptoThe Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has issued a statement on Monday banning the use of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin by banks and financial institutions. This announcement came “amid ongoing debate over how best to regulate the technology,” the AFP elaborated.

According to the CBI, “the government’s money laundering committee had taken the decision in late December and it was now being put into effect,” the news outlet conveyed and quoted the central bank explaining:

All cryptocurrencies have the capacity to be turned into a means for money laundering and financing terrorism and in general can be turned into a means for transferring criminals’ money.

The central bank noted that banks and financial institutions in Iran were informed a few days ago, Mehr News reported.

The ban comes at a tenuous time for the Iranian economy. Between now and May 12, both the EU and the US are expected to decide on a new round of economic sanctions targeting Tehran. This could restore the harsh international controls on Iran that were lifted in the 2015 nuclear treaty between Iran and six major powers, including the US.

Effects of Crypto Community in Iran

Monday’s announcement follows another prohibition recently announced by the central bank, banning foreign fiat currency exchanges.

Central Bank of Iran Bans Banks from Crypto
Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi.

The Iranian government has mixed views on cryptocurrency, however. In February, the country’s telecom minister, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, tweeted the news that his ministry and the CBI are investigating the prospect of running their own initial coin offering (ICO) together. The resulting cryptocurrency would serve as “an experimental model for the country’s banking system,” he believes.

While many people in Iran see cryptocurrencies as a way to overcome problems with international sanctions and the country’s banking system, there are also those who fear “the technology could undermine the country’s already weak banking system and exacerbate capital flight,” the AFP explained.

Central Bank of Iran Bans Banks from Crypto“Iranians working in the fledgling private cryptocurrency market said the ban was unlikely to affect their operations,” the publication further described. A local crypto exchange Coinex has, however, halted activity on its platform in response to the central bank’s action, citing “we always want to make sure we comply with the law,” Hadi Nemati, who works for the exchange, told the news outlet. “But I have seen other crypto exchanges were still working normally,” he clarified, adding:

This ruling referred directly to banks, financial institutions and currency exchangers that work with the central bank…In my opinion, it doesn’t include the general public — it’s not a total ban on cryptocurrencies.

What do you think of the Iranian central bank’s action? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi.

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

The post Central Bank of Iran Bans Banks from Crypto appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

How the Government Gave Your Money to the Banks – Again and Again

April 16, 2018 |

How the Government Gave Your Money to the Banks - Again and Again

Bitcoin was created to bring back people’s control over their own hard-earned money. Perhaps no greater example exists of how we don’t currently have real influence over how our capital is being spent than banks getting bailouts from the government at taxpayer expense. 

Also Read: Coinsource Installs 20 Bitcoin ATM Machines Around Washington DC

A History of Fleecing the Taxpayers

How the Government Gave Your Money to the Banks - Again and AgainGovernments all over the world have been bailing out companies for decades, if not longer. And it seems that whenever a financial crisis arises, failed businesses call on the authorities to save them. While directly giving funds or just sweetheart loans to physical companies such as car manufacturers, airlines and the like is harmful to the economy, it is usually easier for the public to accept in order to save working class jobs. Bank bailouts on the other hand are almost universally hated.

Economists see bailing out banks as creating bad incentives for executives to keep taking more critical risks, knowing that major losses will be covered by the taxpayers while outsized gains will be kept by them. And the general public objects to ‘fat cat’ bankers getting enormous sums of money due to their crony connections to politicians. This is why governments and central bankers must always declare the situation a national emergency and warn that a cleanup of the banking system might cause a complete economic collapse.

The most recent example of this process, the backlash and the futility of it, is the US’ 2008 bank bailouts. After the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis, major American financial institutions became insolvent the following year and the Bush administration came to their rescue. The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which propped up the too-big-to-fail banks with hundreds of billions of the taxpayers’ dollars, was passed with much protest both from the ideological right and the ideological left. The controversial process is credited with triggering both the Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party movements.

Prior to 2008, the biggest modern bank bailout in the US was the 1989 Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA). It came about following the savings and loan crisis, and cost taxpayers an estimated $ 200 billion. Both events similarly led to greater control, supervision and regulation by the government of the economy.

What Can Be Worse Than a Bailout? A Bail-In

How the Government Gave Your Money to the Banks - Again and AgainAs bad as bank bailouts can be, there are now even worse ways for people to learn that they don’t have control over their own money. Bail-ins are a new concept that has been floating around in recent years, which refers to depositors taking a hit to rescue banks instead of the taxpayers. As this is a more obvious and direct confiscation of wealth, governments will try to avoid bail-ins if they can just print more fiat or take on debt.

The precedent for this was set not by some bankrupt dictatorship but by the EU member nation of Cyprus, where a bail-in was first attempted in 2013. As part of a €10 billion bailout deal with the ECB and IMF, the Cypriot government has agreed to impose a levy on on all uninsured deposits in the country’s second largest bank and up to an estimated 48% of uninsured deposits in the biggest bank in Cyprus. This incident left a scar on the psyche of many locals and only served to make them less trustful of the government and banks.

How should the bitcoin community educate more people about the non-speculative reasons to invest in the cryptocurrency? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.

The post How the Government Gave Your Money to the Banks – Again and Again appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News


Azealia Banks Claims She was ‘Lowkey’ Raped on Her Instagram Story

April 15, 2018 |

Azealia Banks was breaking down and sobbing on her Instagram story Saturday night, claiming she’d been sexually assaulted … and threatening to quit music over it. In since-deleted Instagram videos posted to the NYC rapper’s Story, Azealia can be…

U.S. stocks climb as technology companies, banks and industrial companies rally

April 12, 2018 |

U.S. stocks are climbing Thursday morning as technology companies, banks and industrial companies rally. Companies including Delta Air Lines and BlackRock are rising after they reported strong results in the first quarter. Big technology companies including Apple and Microsoft are making some of…

L.A. Times – Business

Fed proposes raising capital requirements for big Wall Street banks in major rules change

April 11, 2018 |

Wall Street banks could face higher capital hurdles under a Federal Reserve proposal that would mark the most significant rewrite of requirements put in place after the 2008 financial crisis.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the Fed said it is considering implementing a “stress capital buffer” to…

L.A. Times – Business