The Buda cryptocurrency exchange has lost all of its bank accounts in Colombia, effectively disabling its cryptocurrency operations in the South American nation. Bancolombia, BBVA, and Davivienda simultaneously closed Buda’s bank accounts on 7 June 2018.
The Financial Supervisor of Colombia sent out a letter in February indicating that cryptocurrency exchanges in Colombia were under surveillance and that banks are not authorized to facilitate any cryptocurrency activity. The CEO of Buda in Colombia, Alejandro Beltran, said that he thought this letter was a recommendation and the banks had no official obligation to comply. However, the wording in the letter is very strong, and Colombian banks are now clearly complying.
Buda has also been experiencing similar issues in Chile. Banks in Chile attempted to close down accounts associated with all cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country, but there was a successful legal challenge and Chile’s anti-monopoly court ordered banks to re-open Buda’s accounts. This success is only a temporary order while the case is ongoing.
Buda is a cryptocurrency exchange that primarily facilitates Bitcoin trading, but also has Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin functionality. Buda is available in Colombia, Chile, Argentina, and Peru. It is obviously very bad news for the exchange that 2 of the 4 countries it operates in are attacking its access to bank accounts, which are essential to facilitate fiat to cryptocurrency trading.
On the upside, even if Buda were to be completely banned in Colombia and Chile it would still be able to operate in Argentina and Peru.
The Colombian senate held a debate on the same day Buda’s bank accounts were closed, and they stated that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology could change the lives of Colombians. They said blockchain could make elections more secure and transparent and help manage public services.
It is surprising that the Buda cryptocurrency exchange lost its bank accounts on the same day that the Colombian senate said such positive things regarding cryptocurrency and blockchain, but it just goes to show that there are many different organizations in any given country’s government, and these organizations often have opposing views.
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