In a chilling but sadly all-too-familiar sequence of events, UK banks have been targeting cryptocurrency owners. Individuals who have cashed out large amounts of cryptocurrency – legitimately – have had their assets frozen and accounts locked without warning, fueled by fears of money laundering and a general distrust of bitcoin. One victim even claims to have had their house raided and computer equipment seized in a follow-up operation by UK police.
The Legacy Banking War on Cryptocurrency Ramps Up
Legacy banks have a history of freezing crypto-related accounts
Traditional finance and cryptocurrency have been uneasy bedfellows ever since the start, but it didn’t have to be this way. While some jurisdictions have belatedly welcomed cryptocurrency with open arms – think Gibraltar, Malta, and Liechtenstein, where Binance has just opened a fiat-crypto exchange – the majority have taken an antagonistic stance. The UK is a prime example; unless you’re a bigshot like Coinbase, which recently secured a deal with Barclays, don’t count on retaining access to a bank account if you dabble in crypto. On P2P site Localbitcoins.com, UK traders exchange large amounts of BTC every day, requesting, in most instances, that the bank pay-in reference is something benign and unrelated to crypto. To do otherwise is to play a dangerous game. This week, one British cryptocurrency figure discovered, to his peril, the speed and severity of the crackdown that’s initiated once a UK bank deems an individual to be persona non grata. The man, who we’ll refer to as John, has been involved in cryptocurrency for many years, actively mining it, occasionally trading it, and operating as a senior figure in the project team for a top 100 cryptocurrency
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