ForexMinute.com – In response to US Treasury Department’s invitation for a roundtable discussion on Financial Access for Money Services Businesses (MSB) next week, the Chamber of Digital Commerce recently formed Financial Access Task Force – a team that will highlight the banking accessibility issues faced by Bitcoin businesses in the US.
Just like China, Bitcoin businesses in the US are currently facing hurdles in accessing banking services, thanks to a law that allows banks to literally act as an alternative regulator for MSBs. In many cases, US banks avoid to accept Bitcoin businesses that are either unlicensed, unregistered or both.
Carol Van Cleef, the Chair of the Chamber’s Financial Access Task Force said:
“Companies that are involved in developing and deploying the protocol of crypto currencies or other digital assets – but are not involved in the provision of money transmission or other MSB activities – are being denied access to banking services. At best, this is a tremendous diversion of time and resources. At worst, companies are forced out of business, without having the opportunity to recognize the full potential of the technology.”
There are also other factors that put Bitcoin businesses banks’ red list, such as cryptocurrency’s reputations to be involved in high-profile scandals like Silk Road, Mt. Gox, etc. Bitcoin particularly have been targeted by multiple governments and law enforcement bodies for being a tool to finance drugs and weapon businesses, as well as to conduct money laundering. Banks simply don’t wish to be associated with entities that may put their reputation on stake.
Van Cleef however criticized such an approach to judge a new payment technology. “Silk Road allowed us to more carefully distinguish between illegal currency and illegal use of something that’s very legitimate,” she said. “But that distinction often gets lost on very busy compliance officers.”
At this point of time, Bitcoin industry really needs to pave a way where they can grow without being judged as criminals. In the upcoming meeting on January 13 next week, CDC will try to advocate methods that could be beneficial for the entire payment ecosystem on whole.