Bitcoin and Banking Relationships

April 4, 2016

The following is an excerpt from an article published on BTCManager in which BitAML founder, Joe Ciccolo, discusses bitcoin and banking relationships:

Joe Ciccolo, Founder and President of the Illinois-based BitAML, a regulatory compliance consulting company devoted exclusively to helping digital currency startups and small businesses, says that “de-risking” is a sensitive topic in large part because regulators are continually raising the compliance bar on banks, making an already uneconomical decision to bank bitcoin and other related money service businesses all the more challenging.

“Both bitcoin companies and bitcoin-friendly banks must exercise patience. Bitcoin companies should come prepared, day one, to share their AML program and supporting compliance documentation. But it doesn’t end there. These companies must prepare themselves to field bank questions and produce documents throughout the banking relationship, not just at account opening. Similarly, bankers need to exercise patience with bitcoin companies. Rather than a ‘check the boxes’ exercise, bankers must be prepared to educate prospective and current bitcoin customers as to what information or documents are needed and why. This involves a degree of hand-holding and some added restraint.”

In the end, Ciccolo believes that there will still be those unfortunate times when an open banking relationship is not enough. “Given the current realities of the banking community, bitcoin companies as a backstop should, if possible, maintain multiple bank accounts to minimize the threat of operational disruption.”

Click here to read the complete article.

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