2 Jul 2018
It appears to be a normal practice when cryptocurrency related companies are facing difficulties when trying to open a bank account. Polish Bitcoin Association has decided to act on the issue.
2 July, AtoZ Markets – One of the industry groups in Poland is reportedly attempting to challenge banks that are supposedly denying the provision of services for firms that are associated with cryptocurrencies.
According to a number of reports online, the Polish Bitcoin Association (PBS) has appealed to the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP). The Bitcoin Association has requested that the antitrust authority starts probing the alleged restriction of competition. The industry group has filed a letter with OCCP earlier at the end of the last month.
Some of the online media outlets stated that the PBS has criticized as much as 15 financial institutions for refusing to accept 52 applications for bank accounts from various entities. The letter from PBS has also noted that there are 25 entities that got their bank accounts closed.
One of the biggest Polish banking groups in terms of assets and loans, MBank, has reportedly made nine refusals and have closed three accounts, as per the complaint from the PBS.
As of the moment, it is still not clear if the OCCP has looked into the case. Even though Poland has previously tried to regulate the local cryptocurrency sector, the authorities did not manage to formally establish any rules in regards to this innovative market. One of the steps towards regulating crypto market was the draft law against criminal activities such as money laundering.
According to the Polish Council of Ministers, it has drafted a law for cryptocurrency regulation. The drafted legislation has been created to bring the digital currencies in line with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financial guidelines.
The new Polish legislation outlines the entities that will fall under this regulation. The list of entities appears to be long, and the firms are referred to as “obligated institutions”. Reportedly, not all the entities on the list are related to cryptocurrency market. However, it appears that Bitcoin exchanges and some other intermediaries for digital currency trading can be seen as obligated institutions.
Aleksandra Wiktorow, Polish Financial Ombudsman, has called for the country’s Ministry of Finance to establish the regulation for the local cryptocurrency industry earlier last year. However, she has highlighted that any cryptocurrency related regulation "should not be excessive.”
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