Tensions Rise as Bitcoin Investors Claim Banks Are Freezing Their Accounts

Problems with investment down under

It started with a tweet that was shared several times as disgruntled responses followed over the alleged freezing of Bitcoin accounts by Australian banks.  In Australia, although financial institutions have not banned cryptocurrency outright, there are a good number that do still consider Bitcoin a security risk.

Bitcoin investors took to social media, as they threatened to move their accounts from those banks that remained tight-lipped over the freezing of specific Bitcoin-related accounts.

According to a tweet by Nugget’s News Australia, the attempts by banks to freeze accounts are uncalled for since there are currently no Commonwealth bank policies that ban cryptocurrency investments.

However, a Commonwealth bank spokesman is quoted on The Sydney Morning Herald as saying,

We do not currently recommend the use of any existing virtual currencies as we do not believe they have yet a minimum standard of regulation, reliability and reputation compared to other currencies that we offer to our customers

He added:

Our customers can interact with these currencies as long as they comply with our terms and conditions and all relevant legal obligations.

More Uproar From Social Media

Michaela Juric (AKA Bitcoin Babe) also mentioned that her business accounts had been frozen by 30 banks. She even posted a letter from ANZ that said it was closing her account in accordance with its terms and conditions.

Out of the ten different banks that allegedly closed her accounts, there was one that claimed she received funds fraudulently, but without giving any specific references to cryptocurrencies.

In response, an ANZ spokeswoman said:

It does not prohibit customers from buying digital currencies

Furthermore, there is no mention of cryptocurrency payments on business account terms and conditions. However the bank indicated that it “may exercise its discretion to close an account due to unsatisfactory conduct or for any other reason it considers appropriate”

Additionally CoinSpot (a cryptocurrency exchange) recently put out a statement, declaring that it will put a “temporary restriction on all forms of AUD deposits”. These restrictions are planned to last until the first week of 2018, in response to the issues being faced by Australian banks.

According to CoinSpot, Australian banks have been so far unwilling to work with the digital currency industry, leading to frequent account closures and strict account limits.

Talk to us and let us know your thoughts on the recent developments in Australia’s cryptocurrency space!