Banks have a tendency of preventing users from buying or selling Bitcoin. This situation has become a global phenomenon in the past few years. Even major banks, such as Santander, are not immune to these “whims”. A Portuguese bank branch face so much backlash over this action, they had to rethink their position entirely. As such, the branch now processes Bitcoin-related transactions without a problem. This does show things can effectively change if enough people complain about it.
Most people assume Santander is rather open-minded toward Bitcoin. The company has shown a great interest in the blockchain in recent years. However, individual bank branches can still make their own rules as they see fit. For some reason. One Portuguese branch decided to prevent users from buying and selling Bitcoin. Especially transactions involving Coinbase and Bitstamp were blocked nine times out of ten. Why that decision was made, still remains a mystery to this very day. It’s not the first time stories like those surface.
Portuguese Santander Branch Sets Interesting Precedent
Several bank customers were not too happy about this decision. They even put together a petition which received over 1,000 signatures. As such, the Portuguese parliament was forced to review this petition and pass it along. The petition claims how Santander was keeping the country outside of the world of financial innovation. It seems those words struck a chord with the members of parliament. After all, the bank branch quickly changed its mind in this regard.
With this change now in effect, things are looking up. The local branch will no longer block any Bitcoin-related transactions whatsoever. Users can send money to both Bitstamp and Coinbase without any delays or extra fees. It is a small victory for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. Unfortunately, stories like these are very rare. It is equally possible the branch will revert this decision in a few months from now. For now, we should cherish this decision as long as it stands.
Rest assured banks will continue to oppose Bitcoin in any way possible. Even major banks don’t take kindly to these developments. For some reason, they feel consumers don’t know what they’re doing when buying or selling Bitcoin. Even so, such decisions should be left to the customer and not the bank’s upper brass. This Portuguese branch is certainly on the right track, but they are the only one to date to reverse their initial decision. It is unlikely any other bank branch will take a similar approach moving forward.
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock