Bitcoin Accounts Frozen As Australia Banks Crack Down on Crypto

Investing, News, Regulation | December 31, 2017 By:

Cryptocurrency investors in Australia are claiming several big banks are freezing their accounts and any transfers to outside exchanges.

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald quotes a cryptocurrency trader named Alex Saunders, who says the National Australia Bank, ANZ, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corporation have been freezing customer accounts and transfers to four different bitcoin exchanges  – CoinJar, CoinSpot, CoinBase and BTC Markets.

The article goes on to say that banks are blaming “security risks” as the reason for the account freezes. So far, the banks have refused direct comment on the individual situations, although they issue vague letters citing policies on money transfers.

The Herald quoted a Commonwealth Bank spokesman that  stated, “Our customers can interact with these currencies as long as they comply with our terms and conditions and all relevant legal obligations.”

At least one exchange has taken action, putting what it termed a “temporary restriction on all forms of AUD deposits. “We assure you we are just as unhappy with the situation as you, but unfortunately Australian banks have been so far unwilling to work with the digital currency industry which leads to frequent account closures and strict limits on accounts whilst they remain operational, in effect debanking our industry,” it said.