Crypto.bg, a leading Bulgarian exchange effected by the unexpected banking clampdown on coin-traders in the country last week, is set to resume trading on Monday. The company’s management announced that access to their bank account has been restored after negotiations with bank officials.
“Our account has been opened today (Saturday). We have lots of pre-hedged orders and hundreds of transactions to process over the weekend. We need to crosscheck manually each transfer with Kraken. Everyone will get their money on Monday morning. That’s a promise!”, Stamen Gorchev, Crypto.bg founder said in a statement posted in the company’s forum.
The popular Bulgarian exchange has established a long term partnership with Fibank – the bank that most Bulgarian cryptocurrency traders work with. In a statement posted on its website on Friday, the financial institution asserted that “a large number of correspondent banks, such as JP Morgan Chase and Commerzbank, refuse to accept cryptocurrency transactions. In this respect, Fibank cannot continue to provide services to crypto-traders”.
Fibank is one of the very few Bulgarian-owned banks that had offices working on weekends and closing at 10 pm where you could buy Bitcoin. The bank was almost bankrupted by the collateral damage from an attack that destroyed another Bulgarian-owned bank several years ago and had to be bailed out by the government.
In another post Mr. Gorchev hinted that Fibank’s move to freeze his company’s account might be a purely business driven decision:
“Fibank is not the problem. The philosophy and technology behind the bank system and Bitcoin are very different. When they collide, Bitcoin crashes traditional banking… It is just a more modern technology”, he pondered. Stamen Gorchev went on to elaborate on a plausible scenario – a foreign online banking account is hacked to transfer money to a local account opened in the name of a homeless guy that knows nothing about Bitcoin and simply gave his ID to someone for a 100 bucks. Then his sponsors buy Bitcoin with the Euros transferred to his account. The money is gone but banks are obliged to restore it to the European account holder, whose account is insured.
Crypto.bg offered its customers two options to return their funds – as a BGN refund to their accounts or by buying Bitcoin at its current price on Monday…
What do you think about the clash between traditional banking and bitcoin? Do you think Crypto.bg handled the situation with Fibank well? Let us know in the comments below.
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