Swedish banks reportedly closing Bitcoin-related bank accounts

A Sweden-based bitcoin exchange, FYB-SE, has informed its customers that it may have to shut down after its bank informed

A Sweden-based bitcoin exchange, FYB-SE, has informed its customers that it may have to shut down after its bank informed the exchange that its account will be closed.

According to CoinTelegraph, this is part of a broader sweep of Swedish banks “arbitrarily” closing bitcoin-related accounts. When questioned for a reason, banks have replied that they are not obligated to provide one.

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One Swedish bank, Länsförsäkringar, reportedly announced that it does not want any customers using Bitcoin. Another, Nordea, closed the account of Bitcoinbolag.

In neighboring Norway, the Justcoin digital currency exchange announced last month that it is shutting down due to its bank closing its account. It also cited a general refusal by Norwegian banks to host accounts for businesses dealing in digital currencies.

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Some have accused banks of attempting to snuff out Bitcoin through such actions. However, several industry experts and those familiar with banking operations say that the banks are averse to engage in what they consider risky relationships. Sensitive to compliance requirements and unfamiliar with Bitcoin, they err on the side of caution.

There is also a train of thought hoping that the banks’ alleged stifling of Bitcoin will help motivate the industry to become less reliant on traditional finance, thereby inducing bitcoin to become more mainstream.

Indeed, FYB-SE posed two options for its next steps: (1) “cease operations and call it quits”, or (2) “evolve and adopt a P2P model to become decentralized and less reliant on legacy banks.” This can be initiated by for example, processing only bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, as found with some other exchanges. FYB declares that it has chosen the second option, drawing inspiration for the Chinese exchanges who refused to “roll over and die”.

A few lines later, however, the announcement discusses other contingency measures “while we continue to try and secure a new bank account.”

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