UK banks ban crypto transfers in light of rising financial crimes

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The first 2 quarters of 2021 have seen the cryptocurrency market move like never before. Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) prices hit their all-time highs and then normalized again which prompted the other coins to follow suit. Such a situation has prompted more traders to jump onto the wave that promised high returns when the bullish market hits.

Changes made by market movers

Market-changing decisions and announcements like those by Tesla boss Elon Musk did influence BTC prices (as well as the others) with many other factors coming into play. This was further expounded by new cryptos that came out like the X-Token as well as the rising popularity of NFTs or Non-Fungal Tokens.

The crypto market in the UK

In May 2021, 3 of the largest banks in the United Kingdom announced that they have stopped payments from their customers’ accounts to cryptocurrency exchanges. This move involved Barclays Bank, Starling and Monzo. The online Starling bank, backed by Goldman Sachs had suspended all payments to the exchanges.

The reason for this move was the rising reports of suspected financial crime associated with these transactions. Starling had earlier in 2021 stated that they were not rushing into implementing cryptocurrencies although the market seemed to be moving in that direction. The ban however does not mean customers have no access to the crypto exchanges, as claimed by Barclays.

Getting to the root of the problem

What prompted such a drastic move was the rising complains and reports of crypto-related scams surfacing since the start of 2021. This was highlighted in the ‘crypto & crime’ phrase that has been used to beef up its regulations in the market. The UK remains one of the biggest markets for cryptocurrencies but has been heavily promoting the dangers and risks of crypto trading. The ASA or Advertising Standards Authority recently imposed stricter restrictions on advertising promoting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency services.

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