The Court of Justice in São Paulo has recently dismissed an appeal made by Banco Santander against local cryptocurrency exchange Mercado Bitcoin and ordered that the bank return the equivalent of nearly $350,000 to the exchange. The report of the ruling originally appeared in Brazilian news source CriptomoedasFacil on March 8th.
The action leading up to the court case began when Santander made the decision to close Mercado Bitcoin’s account and froze its funds, claiming that its business dealings were against the bank’s policy.
The exchange, alleging that Santander’s actions were unjustified, immediately sought legal recourse–and won. The bank was ordered to return the exchange’s funds with an additional interest payment of one percent per month. Additionally, Santander was also required to pay for the exchange’s legal expenses as well as legal fees, which were fixed at 10 percent of the value of the conviction.
Feeling that the ruling was unjust, Santander sought to appeal it, but to no avail. Once again, Mercado Bitcoin received overwhelming support from the court. A transcription of the ruling on government portal Impresa Oficial shows that on March 6th, the appeal was dismissed by a unanimous vote.
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Crypto Exchanges Slowly Gain Legal Leverage Around the World
Mercado Bitcoin is the latest exchange to reign victorious after a court battle with its bank, but there have been other similar cases in recent months.
In October of 2018, another Brazilian court ordered two financial institutions to restore operations for accounts associated with crypto exchange Bitcoin Max.
Additionally, in July of last year, Chilean courts ruled in favor of crypto exchange OrionX, which had its account shut down by Banco Estado in April.
However, most exchanges are not so lucky. Two other Chilean crypto exchanges, BUDA and CryptoMarket, were not as successful in their appeals to get their accounts re-opened. And these kinds of cases are not unique to South America–troubles with banking led scandalized cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX to have major money problems months before the mysterious death of its CEO, Gerald Cotten.
However, things are looking up in some areas of the world–South Korea’s main financial authority officially authorized working relationships between banks and cryptocurrency exchanges in October of last year.