Proposition: UK banks blocking transfers to Bitcoin exchanges is illegal and in violation of UK Competition Law
I've posted this in Bitcoin and got a great response, but being the wrong breed of nerd (tech nerd vs legal nerd) we need the help of law to find out the truth of the matter! What is bitcoin? For those of you who don't know Bitcoin is: Bitcoin is a decentralized crypto-currency that uses an algorithm to generate bitcoins at a steady rate. It's basically web-cash. Banks don't like it because it allows people to send money to each other (bitcoins) without banks. It's competition to banks, which currently have a monopoly on money transfer. What did the banks do to bitcoin exchanges? Banks, especially UK banks, have been shutting down the bank accounts of bitcoin exchanges. To get bitcoins, you have to send money from your bank account to an exchange, then once you have the bitcoins you can send them to anyone around the world anytime, without using a bank and trade them for goods and services. Proposition: UK banks blocking transfers to Bitcoin exchanges is illegal and in violation of UK Competition Law: From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_competition_law#European_Union_law "Like all competition law, that in the UK has three main tasks.
Prohibiting agreements or practices that restrict free trading and competition between business entities. This includes in particular the repression of cartels.
Banning abusive behaviour by a firm dominating a market, or anti-competitive practices that tend to lead to such a dominant position. Practices controlled in this way may include predatory pricing, tying, price gouging, refusal to deal and many others."
I know very little about the details of the law (specifically UK law) but isn't this exactly what the banks are doing? (And this is not just happening in the UK) They are defending a monopoly that should never have been allowed to exist! Examples of this happening: - Mtgox, the biggest bitcoin exchange had their bank account in the UK closed.
Today transferwise has just been banned from sending money to Bitstamp: http://transferwise.com/blog/2013-04/notice-to-bitcoin-users-april-2013 Bitstamp is a major bitcoin exchange and transferwise allowed UK citizens to send GBP to Bitstamp at a good rate. Now they can still do it but with a SEPA transfer, which in the UK has an great big fee (e.g. £15 for barclays) plus a very expensive exchange rate.
Bitfloor, another bitcoin exchange closed due to their bank account being closed.
Can someone provide a watertight argument for why the banks refusing transfers to Bitcoin exchanges and closing accounts of bitcoin exchanges is illegal? Can we take the banks to court over this? (or something that will prevent from doing this)
Chase locked me out of my online account for just adding okpay as a wire recipient
Still trying to find a good way after bitfloor went away (sucks) to buy bitcoins in quantity. I know there are exchanges, that are funded by various ewallet sites, that have various options to be funded (some options are other sites, that have various ways of being funded). You end up running in circles 1/2 the time. Or they want so much information about you, or so much cost to fund them, or so much time, you just give up. But I'm off topic... So I log into chase.com and type in the wire info for okpay. I wanted to fund btc-e so I could buy BTC and/or LTC when I felt like doing so (as opposed to bitinstant which converts cash right to BTC using mtgox as the time you fund vs. having the cash go into an account). After putting in the wire info for okay, I got the "Verifying". A few hours later I try to log in and see if it's done. I'm not able to. I call chase.com and they said access to my account has been blocked and I have to take two forms of ID into a branch to unlock it. That sucks, time in the day is very short for me but I make it into the branch and after the manager sits on the phone for about 20 minutes with the online people, my access is restored. I brought in the okpay wire info to see if they could just wire right from the branch. They said they couldn't and that okpay was on some list of people/places that Chase won't wire to. So is this one of the things banks are doing to make it harder to buy bitcoin? Basically block ability to fund? We have HoustonBits here where you can buy/sell in person, but it's harder to buy in qty from them as they are having problems refunding their accounts in any quantity (think about if you wanted to do 1000's, or 10's of thousands, or even 100's of thousands of dollars worth). Why don't these companies (like okpay) simply open a US bank account (note: I'm speaking as a US user) and let people fund their ewallets by simply going into a branch and putting money into their accounts (ala bitfloolocalTil)? Anyway, just an FYI to Chase customers. Don't try to add or wire to okpay. And as an aside, I told Chase that I guess I'll just have to go to Bank of America or something and give them cash to do a wire, but I was told other banks won't wire out unless you have an account with them. Which means more info, more "trail", etc.
Q&A for Bitcoin crypto-currency enthusiasts. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.. Visit Stack Exchange This reddit thread by people who lost money when the MtGox exchange shut down shows how Bitcoin has become a speculative asset bubble similar to the dot com bubble or any stock market bubble. There are stories of people taking their kid’s education fund, or partner’s life savings, and investing them entirely in Bitcoin. One guy even claims his friend committed suicide after investing ... MtGox and Other Bitcoin Exchanges . So, how can you buy Bitcoins? First, create an account on MtGox.com (or any other Bitcoin exchange), and then wire money to that account. Once the funds arrive ... Bitcoincharts is the world's leading provider for financial and technical data related to the Bitcoin network. It provides news, markets, price charts and more. Bank Speed vs. Bitcoin Speed. Clearly, Mt. Gox is working to reverse the trend. It seems that the company is rewiring its international banking relationships in hopes of finding a new channel to ...
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