Polish Bitcoin Association at War with Local Banks
Cryptocurrency stakeholders in Poland are on the warpath with local banks. The Polish Bitcoin Association (PBS), a coalition of crypto enthusiasts in the country are accusing banks of targeted discriminatory practices against them. Poland has a history of being hostile towards the virtual currency industry even though there is no official government policy to that effect.
Polish Bitcoin Association Accuses Banks of Discrimination
According to Finance Magnates, the PBS is petitioning the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP) to look into claims of alleged cryptocurrency profiling by Polish banks. There are reports of banks freezing or closing accounts belonging to digital currency enterprises.
The PBS is also accusing banks of frustrating any efforts to run a profitable cryptocurrency business due to their restrictive policies. Banks are reportedly implementing a blanket over participants in the industry. According to the Association, about 15 financial institutions have so far declined banking services to more than 52 cryptocurrency-related firms. These banks have also either frozen or closed down the accounts held by 25 of such firms.
The cryptocurrency coalition believes the banks are carrying out a tacit campaign of discrimination in a country where cryptocurrency hasn’t been deemed illegal. A portion of the PBS complaint to the OCCP reads:
The effects of the banks’ actions described clearly aim at removing virtual currency entities from the market, despite the fact that such activities are legal and conducted with dignity. In view of the above, action by the regulators is necessary, and this notice and his requests are fully substantiated.
At the time of writing this report, the OCCP has yet to release any official word concerning the matter. Thus, it is not clear whether the antitrust authority would investigate the case. Erring banks may face severe sanctions if the claims turn out to be true.
The Travails of the Cryptocurrency Community in Poland
While there isn’t any official government directive banning cryptocurrencies in Poland, the environment is still less than conducive. In May, BitBay, the country’s largest crypto exchange platform announced that it would be closing its offices in Poland in favor of a move to Poland. The platform had become frustrated by the discriminatory practices of several banks in the country.
The country’s central bank sponsored a smear campaign earlier in the year that aimed to cast cryptocurrency trading in a negative light. The apex bank paid popular YouTube vloggers to run a veritable campaign of calumny against Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The ban on ICOs is the only official governemnt position concerning the cryptocurrency industry in Poland.
Poland isn’t the only country where crypto businesses face discrimination from banks. Ireland, Chile, Zimbabwe, India, and Iran have also enacted negative laws against the nascent virtual currency industry.
What are your opinions on the current cryptocurrency climate in Poland? Do you think the crypto community in the country stands any chance in its fight against the discriminatory policies of local banks? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.