Two cryptocurrency exchanges from Chile have called on the country’s baking association (Asociación de Bancos e Instituciones Financieras or ABIF) to issue a clear position regarding the new industry. The companies took this step after a number of Chilean banks reportedly shut down their accounts just for dealing with cryptocurrencies.
Banks Taking the Law Into Their Own Hands
Chilean cryptocurrency exchanges are fighting for their right to open a bank account in the country in order to serve clients who are switching over from fiat. BUDA and Crypto MKT have condemned the closing of their local banking accounts and said that a bank representative told them that they had instructions to “not open an account for anyone that has relation to cryptocurrencies “.
The two companies made a joint public statement warning that: “The lack of knowledge and regulatory clarity has given rise to the fact that some banks, out of fear, misinformation or perhaps by strategy, are refusing to provide their services to anyone who has any relationship with any digital asset.” Adding that “in Chile the regulation is in the hands of a few, who are acting as de facto regulators and are opting to prohibit.”
BUDA and Crypto MKT called on ABIF to “make its position transparent” and to define whether companies linked to cryptocurrencies will have access to banking services, or if the banks “are determined to prevent the existence” of the young industry. In addition, the exchanges called for both the authorities and the public to pay attention to the issue, “before it’s too late.”
Exchanges Play By the Rules
To showcase how they are not a possible legal risk to the banks, the two exchanges highlighted that they “have developed safe platforms of the latest technology for the protection of their customers and have opened channels of collaboration with authorities”, in addition to explaining to the public the characteristics, advantages and risks of trading these type of assets. Both firms, they add, pay taxes, are registered with the relevant Chilean financial authorities, and follow standard prevention of money laundering and anti-terrorist financing guidelines.
Banks preventing exchanges from opening accounts is a problem in many places around the world, but legal victories are possible. Last month the Supreme Court of Israel issued a temporary injunction order forbidding the country’s Bank Leumi from sweepingly halting the account activity of the Bits of Gold bitcoin exchange.
How can exchanges in Chile bypass the banking system and still be able to receive fiat transfers from new clients? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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