Digital Assets: Chase UK Blocks Crypto Transactions; CoinBase CEO Brian Armstrong Pans Decision
“Chase UK crypto holders should close their accounts if this is how they’re going to be treated.” – Brian Armstrong, CEO, Coinbase.
Chase UK is set to block crypto-related payments starting October 16, with customers no longer able to make such transactions using debit cards or outgoing bank transfers. In an email to its customers, Chase made it clear that any attempts to make payments associated with crypto assets would be declined. Customers were advised that they are free to explore alternative banks or providers if they wish to invest in cryptocurrencies.
This move reflects a broader trend in the U.K. banking sector, which has a history of either blocking or limiting customers’ access to crypto-related activities. On the other hand, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the local financial watchdog, has facilitated discussions between banks and crypto firms due to banks’ hesitation to offer services to the crypto industry. (CoinDesk)
Chase justified its decision by citing the increasing use of crypto assets by fraudsters to steal significant sums of money from individuals. This concern about crypto scams targeting U.K. consumers led Chase U.K. to prioritize the safety and security of its customers’ money.
However, Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) CEO, Brian Armstrong, strongly criticized Chase U.K.’s move as “totally inappropriate.” He urged U.K. crypto holders to consider closing their accounts in response to this restriction. Additionally, Armstrong called upon U.K. officials, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Economic Secretary Andrew Griffith, to assess whether Chase U.K.’s actions align with the country’s policy goals. He expressed hope that there might be more to the story and that Chase U.K. could reconsider its decision.
Chase U.K. confirmed the ban on crypto-related transactions, citing a high level of fraud in the crypto space. Customers attempting such transactions will receive declined transaction notifications.
Despite these regulatory challenges in the U.S., Coinbase has been actively pursuing expansion in the U.K. and Europe, as evidenced by its support for these regions on its platform. However, at home, Coinbase has faced legal issues, including a lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging violations of securities laws.
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