Customer Threatened By Bank Over Bitcoin
As the cryptocurrency gains users, some financial organizations are cracking down.
An article review.
Throughout history new technologies have often been met with some resistance. From laws protecting businesses threatened by a new invention to cautionary articles warning of real (or imaginary) risks, change can be tumultuous. As it turns out, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are no exception, as a recent article submitted to us by our friend Wes Pollard of Home Bank describes.
You may be familiar with the requirement that banks report certain transactions to the Federal Government: large deposits often require paperwork, including a source for the deposited funds, in an attempt to combat crime. What you’re probably not familiar with is getting a phone call from your bank asking you what you’re withdrawing money for – which is exactly what happened to one PNC Bank customer in October.
The customer had made several small transactions with Coinbase, an online currency exchange where customers can buy and sell Bitcoin, and was soon contacted by his bank with a demand for information. When the customer declined to provide that information, the bank’s representative went so far as to threaten to close his account, saying that PNC wanted “nothing to do” with Bitcoin.
This development is unusual but not unexpected. While buying and selling Bitcoin is legal, it is often used to purchase things which are not – and that’s in addition to the (far-fetched, at this point) risk the new currency presents to established financial institutions. While it is unclear whether this customer’s experience is representative of an official organization-wide policy or something decided by a branch manager, what is clear is the uncertainty that surrounds cryptocurrencies for banks, consumers, and the government.
Original article by Sterlin Lujan writing for Bitcoin News.