Aussies: banks didn’t conspire to derisk bitcoin

February 24, 2016

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) determined that there was no evidence banks colluded prior to closing accounts held by bitcoin companies. Ultimately, it was the ACCC’s determination that banks had acted on an individual basis in consideration of their own unique circumstances.

The ACCC was criticized for not conducting a full investigation, and questions were raised about the level of input from affected bitcoin companies. However flawed, this inquiry is a step in the right direction. The ability to get and maintain a bank account continues to be an uphill battle. If for nothing else, the ACCC has exposed a broader audience to the realities of “derisking”. For its part, FinCEN issued a statement back in November 2014 cautioning banks against “indiscriminately terminating the accounts of all MSBs, or refusing to open accounts for any MSBs”. Of course, no mention was made of the regulatory burden placed on banks serving such customers. Since FinCEN’s statement, the ability to secure and maintain a bank account has only become more difficult.

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