How European banks ban the accounts of cryptocurrency start-ups
The news that banks put spokes in crypto projects’s wheels, are appearing more often. And it’s not just about the conservative countries, such information comes from around the world.
Financial and technological projects, which mention work with modern digital currencies, either close existing accounts, or completely refuse to open a bank account. Some experts are inclined to believe that classical banks thus compete with competitors. But should banks be afraid of young developing traders working with them in the same market, or should they look at them better and begin to help the development of the “rising generation of fintech”?
In June, the Polish Bitcoin Association filed a complaint with the Consumer Protection Board for a number of banks that do not allow projects working with cryptocurrency to open accounts. The complaint concerns 15 banks, which refused 52 projects. Some banks said their “no” nine times in a row, which qualitatively characterizes their policies and speaks of the determined attitude of these financial institutions.
As a result, a number of Polish projects were forced to firefully seek jurisdiction for relocation and select new financial partners in other European countries, as they simply can not work without a bank account and trust accounts.
Someone had to stop working. For example, the BitBay exchange migrated to Malta, which, most likely, will become one of the most attractive countries for such companies. A similar story happened in Ireland, where the previously approved and even government-supported and state-supported projects, such as Bitcove and the Ericoin bitcoin broker, fell under the banking “ban”. At the same Bitcove exchange, where users can buy, sell and exchange the crypto currency, previously worked closely with the Bank of Ireland and was awarded the bank award “Best Business Startup”.
What went wrong? Are the banks afraid of competition? Rather, we are talking about the fear of opals on the part of the state regulator, which has not yet formed clear and understandable requirements for the cryptocurrency market. Speculative actions of some unscrupulous exchanges around the world can also be the cause of this behavior of banks. But is it worth it for banks to hide their heads in the sand at the first threat?
Some financial institutions in Germany went the other way. For example, licensed German SolarisBank launched its Blockchain Factory project, which is sharpened solely for financial and technological projects, that is, it provides services to companies that directly or indirectly work with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The spectrum of these services fully corresponds to the needs of young companies: they have the options for opening bank and trust accounts in order to share and store their own assets and user funds, escrow account is a special account for the purchase and sale of fiat currencies such as the dollar, euro and others.
More importantly, for start-ups that access the Blockchain Factory, a regulatory and legal platform is available, including services such as transaction monitoring and KYC procedures (know your client). That is, the bank itself offers start-ups help in ensuring compliance with the most important requirements for the identification of their users. It is on the discrepancy between the requirements of the Know your client system and the non-transparent monitoring of transactions that regulators and classical banks complain most often, refusing to work with crypto-projects.