The war between traditional banks and the crypto community seems to have taken on a new lease of life in Poland with banks indulging in a cryptocurrency ban for firms operating in this sector. The Polish Bitcoin Association has decided to rope in the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection to confront the banks head-on. Specifically, those banks who decide to block or shut down the accounts of firms linked with the crypto market.
It is still not clear if the antitrust authority has agreed to hear the case, but laws in Poland require the OCCP to start off any investigation. The investigation may deal with the alleged restriction of competition, to cease bank activities and to impose possible penalties.
The Polish crypto community is worried that the country will be going down the same route as China which has imposed a complete blanket ban on the cryptocurrency digital asset class. In fact, the association is claiming that it is becoming extremely difficult to find a banking partner in the banking sector since several banks are implementing a blanket ban on cryptocurrency firms.
According to the complaint filed by the Polish Bitcoin Association, 15 financial institutions are outrightly refusing to open a bank account to 52 crypto-based companies while 25 bank accounts of a similar nature have been closed. Further research has revealed that this hostile attitude by the banks has nothing to do with the government and that there are no regulations in place that are prohibiting the activity of cryptocurrency exchanges.
The PBA said that these actions by the banks are part of a concerted effort which aims to remove cryptocurrencies from the market despite the fact that this business is considered to be legitimate and above board. They also called on the OCCP to begin the investigation forthwith before further damage is done to the country. It seems that a cryptocurrency ban is not yet on the cards, at least in Poland for now.
Although Poland has taken steps to regulate the ICO and cryptocurrency market, these efforts are to combat possible fraud and money laundering activities. A ban on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is still firmly in place while the Polish government has also launched a campaign to educate people on the use of cryptocurrencies for trading and investment purposes.
Jay is pretty interested in the crypto space. He’s written for several publications on the topic and has lots of ideas on how the world can be made a better place with blockchain technology. He’s also a fintech journalist with some years of experience and enjoys writing about new startups, ICO’s as well as any other intriguing news that catches his fancy.