Chase UK has announced a ban on cryptocurrency-related transactions via its mobile app due to rising concerns over fraud. The digital bank's customers will be unable to make crypto transactions using their debit cards or through outgoing bank transfers starting from mid-October. Customers attempting to make such transactions will receive a declined transaction notification, according to a spokesperson for the firm.
The decision follows an increase in crypto scams targeting UK consumers, leading Chase UK to restrict customers' access to crypto assets. This move makes Chase the latest lender in the UK to impose such restrictions. The ban has sparked debate within the crypto community and raised questions about Chase's commitment to the country's evolving crypto landscape.
Chase UK's decision is seen as contradictory to the UK government's stated policy goal of creating favorable conditions for crypto businesses. Jesper Johansen, founder and CEO of crypto service provider Northstake, expressed his reservations about the decision in an interview with Blockworks.
Caspar Sauter, co-founder of the decentralized exchange D8X, noted that Chase UK's actions diverge from those of many other European banks. The distinction is significant as it shows that Chase UK's stance is driven by its internal risk assessment rather than external regulatory pressures.
The move by Chase UK is part of a trend of financial institutions imposing tighter restrictions on crypto transactions. Earlier this year, banks such as NatWest Group plc and Banco Santander (BME: SAN ) implemented similar measures for their UK customers, raising concerns about accessibility of cryptocurrency investments for UK citizens.
Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN ), one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges globally, publicly criticized JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) for its stance on cryptocurrency. Armstrong called out the bank’s behavior as “totally inappropriate” and questioned whether it aligned with the policy goals of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Member of Parliament Anthony Griffiths.
Armstrong's public criticism draws attention to the potential misalignment between Chase UK’s decision and the broader objectives of the UK government. Critics argue that the move contradicts the government’s efforts to foster a favorable environment for crypto businesses. With public figures like Armstrong questioning the decision, the impact on the broader crypto landscape in the United Kingdom remains to be seen.
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