It appears that yesterday, UK banking institution Barclays which owns and operates the payment service PingIt, shut down several bitcoin exchange seller accounts without notifying the exchange sellers in advance.
Pingit links your mobile number with your bank account, and makes it quick and easy to send money. You don’t need to know account numbers or sort codes – just ping it from your mobile device. Several bitcoin exchanges in the UK have used PingIt as a payment method for users to buy bitcoin.
Yesterday, we began to see tweets from bitcoin exchanges stating that Barclays Pingit has mass-blocked bitcoin seller accounts.
— Bittylicious (@Bittylicious_) May 18, 2016
Barclays Pingit mass blocked bitcoin sellers’ Pingit accounts. Please use UK bank transfers for now.
— BitBargain (@BitBargain) May 18, 2016
Two of the UK exchanges which verbally confirmed the PingIt account closures were Bittyliciousand BitBargain. Other exchanges that we’re aware that also use PingIt in the UK are Roolo and some LocalBitcoins sellers. There may be others that we’re unaware of at this time.
Just last month, bitcoin exchange service provider Circle expanded to the UK, with a partnership with Barclays, making Circle the first digital currency firm to receive an e-money license from the UK Financial Conduct Authority. However, other exchanges haven’t had as much luck working with Barclays either. Safello, based in Sweden, says that Barclays has not been able to open an accountfor them at all.
We have reached out to Barclays PingIt for official comment on the reason why these accounts were closed. Once we have additional information, we will post an update.