Even though most people don’t like it, banks still take center stage when it comes to purchasing cryptocurrencies. More specifically, most exchanges use bank transfers as the only way of buying Bitcoin. This situation is changing rapidly in Israel. Some banks are actively blocking outgoing and incoming payments related to cryptocurrency. A troublesome development, to say the least. Bank Leumi is one of the culprits in this regard.
It is not the first time banks in certain regions block Bitcoin payments. German banks have a history of doing so, although the situation has improved. Israel, on the other hand, has taken several steps backward in this regard. One customer of Bank Leumi acknowledges the transfer related to Bitcoin was rejected by the institution. Both purchasing Bitcoin and converting cryptocurrency to fiat have proven to be incredibly difficult. This is not a positive development, although it is not surprising either.
Bank Leumi Sets a Dangerous Precedent
Given the recent surge in Bitcoin popularity, banks are making life difficult once again. Several financial ‘experts” have uttered degrading opinions regarding Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. China is actively trying to disrupt the market in a negative manner as well. With Israeli banks now blocking transfers, the situation only grows worse. Various local companies are caught up in this troublesome situation as well. Although no company lost a banking partner just yet, it may only be a matter of time.
This particular Bitcoin transfer in question pertains to the Kraken exchange. The customer aimed to purchase $1,000 worth of Bitcoin this way. Unfortunately, that never happened as Bank Leumi blocked the transfer right away. They even contacted the customer to ask what the plan was. Said customer has been informed these transactions “can’t be carried out”. No valid reason was given, though. There are risks involved with Bitcoin, sure, but keeping money in a bank account isn’t without risks either.
What is even more worrying is how the Banking Supervision Department isn’t intervening. They allow Bank Leumi to block these transactions without repercussions. Bank of Israel does not prevent people from using Bitcoin, though, thus events like these make very little sense. Preventing consumers from buying Bitcoin will only hurt Bank Leumi more than anything else. Financial institutions are pretty concerned about this trend, which is understandable. However, they should never tell consumers what they can and can’t do.
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