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Cryptocurrency: Australian Banks Freezing Accounts Tied to Crypto-Activities

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During 2017, we did witness various financial entities and banks freeze or block users accounts that were related to any cryptocurrency exchanges or activity of that sort. The above mentioned banks do see virtual currencies as a threat and that is why they try to deviate any user from investing or dealing with them.

It is now Australia’s turn to make the headlines, as four major Australian banks have been reported to freeze accounts of customers that had any interaction with digital currency exchanges. The ANZ, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the National Australia Bank, and the Westpac Banking Corporation are being cited. In addition to freezing accounts, it has been said that these banks cancel and block money transfers to exchanges, including Coinbase, therefore preventing their customers to purchase or trade cryptocurrencies. This information has been reported by multiple customers.

The replies and answers that the banks gave back were not that satisfying for the traders and investors. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia stated that according to their policies they can deny any kind of crypto-related activity. When it comes to how they feel about digital currencies – they keep a bearish standpoint because “cryptocurrencies are not regulated enough”. On the other hand ANZ answered by saying that they do have the right based on their own rules to close accounts that do not meet the satisfactory conduct.

Various reasons do exist why many banks in a globe-range are on the counter-side of the table towards cryptocurrencies. The original purpose of cryptocurrencies, which was stated by Satoshi Nakamoto in the bitcoin whitepaper released in October 2008, was to create a peer-to-peer network, completely decentralized and detached from banks, organizations, and governments. Most investors in bitcoin and other digital currencies feel the need and desire to completely emancipate themselves from those powerful entities, and want to have total control of their finances and personal assets. This is the opposite of what banks want and therefore, they attempt to prevent money flowing into these exchanges, and want to considerably decrease the rate of public adoption.

Keeping that ind mind, another issue that banks deal with and are worried – security, because the cryptocurrencies are still unregulated. In general, financial entities are scared of risking based on speculation, illegal activities and losses. On top of that, a common goal throughout the cryptocurrency eco-system that you find being mentioned many times is – anonymity, which banks do not like that much.

We can be sure that as said in a previous writing, while we enter the new year more laws and regulations will be introduced to the community of crypto.

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