Chilean Crypto-Exchanges Cry Out for Clearer Regulation
After having their bank accounts closed without warning, two cryptocurrency exchanges in Chile are calling on government regulators to give some much needed guidance to a confused crypto industry.
Bitcoin exchange BUDA and Ethereum trading platform CryptoMKT have released a public statement requesting that the Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (ABIF) “makes its position transparent” and blaming unclear regulations for the sudden closure of both platforms’ bank accounts last week.
Both exchanges had believed that they had taken all necessary steps to ensure they stayed on the right side of regulators. They are registered with the Financial Analysis Unit (UAF) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which both have anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist funding requirements. The exchanges also have operations in other South American countries.
Describing cryptocurrencies as “an innovation capable of improving people’s lives and helping the development of finance and financial inclusion”, they warn that a “lack of knowledge and regulatory clarity” has, whether accidently or by design, led to banks “refusing to provide their services to anyone who has any relationship with any digital asset”.
According to CryptoMKT, when it tried to open an account at a new bank it was refused, and told that the bank had been instructed not to open accounts for anyone trading, or even holding, cryptocurrency.
The statement asks if regulators “are determined to prevent the existence” of the whole industry, or whether exchanges will be given the same access to banking services that other businesses take for granted.
BUDA and CryptoMKT warn that the current approach has put Chile, normally seen as the South American country most friendly to finance and technology, out of step with the international community and that it risks “making a fool out of itself”.
“We are killing an industry”, they say, “before studying and understanding its scope”.
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