Irish Exchanges Accuse Banks of Closing Crypto Accounts

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Irish Exchanges Accuse Banks of Closing Crypto Accounts

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The Irish co-founder of Eircoin has complained that he feels that the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) is discriminating against crypto-related accounts, writes Cointelegraph.

Irish Bitcoin’s (BTS) Dave Fleming has accused Irish banks of pursuing a defensive and over-regulated banking system in matters of cryptocurrency.

Dave Fleming is an Irish pioneer when it comes to Bitcoin, starting his company when he was unemployed and on the dole. He began trading when Bitcoin was only EUR 5 and his company has flourished, but it is clear by statements made on his website that the banks have been no friend:

“Now we stand a point where we are losing access to all OTC banking in Ireland for reasons unspecified, both me and my business partner – ironically at a time where it seems sure they have lost this fight. Along the way banks literally sponsored business doing the same job as me while trying to push me out. I feel that the brand I started with very humble beginnings has become toxic through no fault of my own.”

In his most recent attack on Irish banks, Fleming accuses the BPFI of “seeking to muddy the waters with insinuations of dirty money” and refusing to give his company banking services for a new secondary consulting business.

He also compared the two different approaches by IDA Ireland and the BPFI, the former regulatory agency has done much to attract blockchain development and investment to the country in recent years.

Fleming continued his verbal attack on the BPFI which he suggested reeked of “regulatory capture”, suggesting if Bitcoin sellers were involved in terrorist financing the law would intervene, accusing banks of intervening where they did not belong.

The BPFI in response to Fleming’s new claims has stated that it wasn’t aware of such a policy of allowing its 70 members to close crypto accounts. One of the organizations leading banks, AIB, also refuted the claims, although it did add that some banks had failed to comply with KYC requirements for operating bank accounts in the country.

Bitcoin exchange Bitcove, founded in 2014 by brothers James and Peter Nagle, has made similar complaints aimed at the AIB and two other banks, including the Bank of Ireland. It suggests that although it previously held accounts with the banks, its company accounts have since been closed by the lenders.

“The reasons cited is that they do not support companies offering cryptocurrency exchange facilities, despite the fact they had previously given us an account for this purpose,” Peter Nagle told The Irish Times.

The Republic of Ireland’s government has demonstrated a forward thinking and proactive approach to new technologies and has said recently that it wants to promote Ireland as an ideal location for international businesses focused on blockchain.


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