Australian Banks to Close Bitcoin Companies’ Accounts

Dunedoo

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CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News


Australian Banks to Close Bitcoin Companies’ Accounts

21/09/2015
by Elliot Maras

Australian banks have advised Australian bitcoin companies they are closing their accounts, according to The Australian Financial Review. The publication has seen the letters from Westpac Banking Corporation and Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Ron Tucker, chairman of The Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association, said all large Australian banks were shutting the door on bitcoin companies.
The banks sent letters to Australian bitcoin exchanges, including Bit Trade and Buyabitcoin. The letters said the banks will close the exchanges’ accounts and did not give any explanation.
At least 17 Australian bitcoin companies have received letters and 13 already have had their accounts closed.
No Explanation Given
"Our members have been unable to obtain any formal clarification on the reasons for closure, except for references to policy or risk. Just what policies or risks these are have not been specified," said Tucker, who is the founder of Bit Trade.
The industry is more than happy to talk to the banks about their concerns. However, neither the association nor its members have been given the opportunity.
In August, an Australian Senate committee said bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were becoming part of the mainstream and should be recognized as a regular currency for goods and services tax purposes.
"It is widely recognised that the banking sector could stand to be disrupted, as indicated in comments from Westpac's CEO two weeks ago. Companies in this industry are in the business of offering and developing cost-effective financial services for consumers and businesses," Tucker said. "However, should bitcoin companies be shut out of the Australian marketplace because of de-banking actions, this question will forever remain a hypothetical."
Also read: First Western Australian Bitcoin Exchange DWVX Partners With Westpac Bank
Senator Dastyari Expresses Concern
Labor Senator Sam Dastyari, who chaired the Senate Economics References Committee into digital currency, expressed concern about the situation.
"I am concerned that there is an allegation that Australian banks are deliberately choking small businesses, while setting themselves up to offer the same services," he said. "We don't have a four-pillars policy to allow banks to guillotine emerging industries they are competing with … These small local digital currency companies are essentially competing to provide trading platforms, and develop emerging technologies."
 
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tungfa

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Wtf ?
I thought Australia was all open to crypto ! Don't they have the banks adopting ripple ?
 
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Dunedoo

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Wtf ?
I thought Australia was all open to crypto ! Don't they have the banks adopting ripple ?
Yes their the one's implementing ripple. I feel off my train seat this morning when I read this.
Its funny, we have a change of Prime Minister last week. He gets rid of the best small business minister in all time as he stood up to big business. Funny that the very next day the banks do their part in stopping btc business start ups. This is so fucked up. Hello new underworld of bitcoin downunder!
I also heard that our version of homeland security doesn't really like crypto as It could be used for bad stuff (like fiat doesn't already) Suppose its hard to buy off a politician with bitcoin. Cash, strictly cash please. Its smelling like big business is starting to mean business now. My theory, they influenced enough Liberal ministers to oust Tony Abbott and elect a left wing Liberal which is in bed with big business. Ah well, one good thing for Dash is that it doesn't have any dirty laundry.
 

Sub-Ether

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Yes, the banks in the UK don't like it, localbitcoins traders always tell you not to inform their bank that this is a bitcoin transaction.
Decentralized exchanges and market places is the place to go.
 

stan.distortion

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The powers that be are certainly not going to make it easy for us... Expect a bumpy ride all the way.
Not in a direct sense but in an indirect and slightly longer term outlook they're making it so easy its almost surreal, fighting tooth and nail over trivialities while letting their hardest won positions go up in smoke and most of the time they set fire to them themselves. It barely makes any sense, they know trust is essential to their business yet they're happy to throw away the little they have left in blatant displays of arrogance and power.

Maybe they think that shows a strong hand and they have complete faith in the "too big to fail" line and that amount of pride richly deserves the fall it will bring but I find it hard to believe they can be that foolish and the alternatives that fit with it being a sensible strategy are more than a little worrying. There's precedent though, we're in a "jam today" age where company names with solid reputations that have taken generations to build are cashed in for quick profits (ex, Mercedes, Sony...). Idk, maybe the bankers went to the same management course :/
 
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MrZilch

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can confirm. Banks shut down a few of my accounts over there last year for LBC BTC trading.
 
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