Last week, a bank called in Buda.com, one of Chile’s first cryptocurrency exchanges, to tell them that their account would be closed. The same day, CryptoMKT.com received notice that two of their accounts would be closed, with the bank following instructions to open no more accounts for cryptocurrency exchange companies.
Both companies operate in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Brazil, and help people exchange Bitcoin and Ether for national currencies. The companies have appealed to the Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (ABIF, in the original Spanish acronym), to ask about the rules for regulation of the cryptocurrency industry.
The companies are calling for transparency, asking whether cryptocurrency will be legalized and regulated, or snuffed out. They have also put the public and authorities on alert about the issue.
Stated the platforms in their official public declaration:
“The lack of knowledge and regulatory clarity has allowed some banks, out of fear, lack of information, or for strategic reasons, to provide services to anyone who is providing digital services… In Chile, the regulation has stayed in the hands of a few people who are acting as de facto regulators and have decided to ban cryptocurrency.”
The rapid rise of cryptocurrencies last year has pushed banks and governments to regulate the industry out of fear of criminal activity. The platforms insist that they operate within the law, paying taxes and informing their clients about the risks of investing in cryptocurrency.