UniCredit had to pay 131 million euros for illegally closing the bank accounts of a bitcoin mining company.
This has been decided by the court in Banja Luka, Bosnia. The case was brought by the bitcoin mining subsidiary Bitminer Factory from Italy.
They sued an Italian bank by suddenly blocking them from banking services, so report Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
As a result of the closure, fundraising from investors for the development of mining projects could not be carried out. Energy will come from renewable sources.
Italian mining developers chose Bosnia and Herzegovina because of the country’s low energy tariffs. They are already UniCredit customers. From a business point of view, they have been able to exchange cryptocurrencies to euros there before without any problems.
The court ruled that the bank could not demonstrate that it could refuse service to bitcoin companies.
UniCredit disagrees with the decision and will appeal.
Banks and crypto
Relations between banks and crypto companies are strained. There are also examples in the Netherlands of banks refusing to give business accounts to (smaller) bitcoin companies. Transactions with cryptocurrencies are generally considered ‘too risky’.
At the same time, Dutch bitcoin companies comply with the same anti-money laundering rules as banks, insurance companies and trust offices and are overseen by the Dutch Central Bank.
In the UK, HSBC is notorious for blocking transactions. Customers are not allowed to buy shares in bitcoin companies like MicroStrategy there.
The European Union will vote next Thursday on further tightening anti-money laundering rules.
Prices in euros in bitvavoright
Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. Cryptocurrencies are risky assets.
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