Dutch banks are refusing to serve not only cryptocurrency trading platforms, but also “blockchain consultancies” or any firm using the terms “crypto” or “blockchain” in business filings, Nextens reports.
According to the outlet:
“An inventory was made in the Cryptocast program of BNR Nieuwsradio. When a company description contains the words ‘crypto’ or ‘blockchain’, it is not possible to open a bank account.”
Bart van Maarseveen of “blockchain advisory” company Move Open says he has seen many of his colleagues in the sector refused banking, most recently by the Dutch internet bank Bunq.
Crypto firms across the planet have been making the same complaint for years. At the same time, many of those firms turned a blind eye for years, especially in early days, to possibly suspicious origins of the cryptocoins they process. Many required no identifying information about traders at all, or only tacitly maintained KYC/AML standards.
A source to The Block recently obtained a trading account at the crypto exchange Bitfinex with the username ImaNYresident and “accessed Bitfinex from within the borders of the State of New York,” despite the exchange’s espoused ban on New York traders, whom it is not licensed to serve.
Competing in third party crypto is dependent on courting transactions, and asking too many questions is a surefire way to frighten the money.
Few early Bitcoiners would deny that that coin officially got its legs in Dark Net markets, where it was quickly adopted and used to facilitate mostly drug and pornography transactions, and drug traffickers are still apparently using crypto exchanges to process their revenues.
A man named Sky Justin Gornik was convicted this week of trafficking volumes of the deadly narcotic fentanyl in the United States. Authorities seized accounts held by Gornik at Bittrex and Poloniex, two American crypto trading platforms based in the US.
Bitcoins and other cryptos have also been used in capital flight, tax evasion, espionage, and what appears to be various elaborate schemes global kleptocracy and subversion.
“Social good” uses like low-cost remittances in the developing world have lagged far behind in terms of real transaction volume and business feasibility.
Nextens acknowledges that, “Banks are required to check new and existing account holders for, among other things, criminal money flows. This entails a lot of work, certainly when every crypto company has to be assessed individually for risks…(and that) Often the companies also have an unclear revenue model.”
For these reasons, Van Maarseveen thinks that banks are precluding the sector.
Yeah- no kidding.