Nedbank, one of the South Africa’s large financial institutions, has stopped allowing the opening of new cryptocurrency bank accounts.
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In an e-mailed response to ITWeb, the bank says: “Nedbank is in the process of assessing its position in respect of virtual currency dealers/traders.”
Following the announcement, no major crypto exchange bank account in South Africa banking with Nedbank has been closed. The news around the industry is that Nedbank is checking it’s regulatory compliant position on offering crypto-related services like opening crypto bank accounts.
Farzam Ehsani, co-founder of local cryptocurrency exchange VALR, says: “We have been in contact with Nedbank, and while they say they are assessing their position regarding crypto-currencies, they have given us no indication that they plan on closing crypto accounts.”
Moreso according to Richard De Sousa, CEO of local South African crypto exchange AltCoinTrader:
“Should Nedbank close bank accounts of crypto businesses, it will further alienate and possibly scare many that are sitting on the fence with crypto-currencies. Having said that, it would also send a message to the crypto industry that banks are threatened by disruptive technology and they will have to defend their position.”
De Sousa explained that Nedbank has been conscious in dealing with cryptocurrency related business to avoid falling prey to regulatory laws.
Meanwhile, FirstRand Bank, one of the largest banks in South Africa notified major cryptocurrency exchanges like Luno, ICE3X and VALR about the shut down of their crypto account.
The bank in its statement two months ago ago also announced that it has seized offering banking services to any business related to crypto currency or trading of crypto currencies in the country.
No clear reasons has been around the news on the closure of crypto currency related accounts. Though there is no real set regulations so far reported to exist in any African country on regulating cryptocurrency related businesses.