Various banks have begun preventing customers from purchasing cryptocurrencies with their payment cards. It seems this trend will not slow down anytime soon. Scotiabank is the latest institution to take this aggressive course of action, even though their reasons for doing so may raise a lot of questions in the end.
Scotiabank Blocks Cryptocurrency Purchases
It has almost become a global trend at this point. Banks all over the world have made it more difficult for their clients to purchase cryptocurrencies through convenient payment methods. While bank account transfers remain possible at this time, the use of credit cards is heavily discouraged. In some cases, it is even impossible to buy Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency with a credit or debit card. This is a problematic development, although most traders will be able to find a way around this problem.
Scotiabank customers are no longer able to purchase cryptocurrencies with their credit and debit cards either as of right now. This change comes as a rather big surprise, considering Canada has been pretty Bitcoin-friendly so far. While the government is still looking into regulating this market, there has never been any negative attention paid to Bitcoin. All of this makes the decision by this Canadian financial institution all the more strange.
In an email sent out to clients, Scotiabank indicates it will block all card-related purchases of cryptocurrencies. According to the email, the bank has taken this aggressive stance due to “risk and regulatory factors which continue to evolve”. It is a very vague statement, all things considered, but it seems the bank wants to err on the side of caution in case the Canadian government bans cryptocurrency. Right now, that seems highly unlikely, but nothing has been decided as of yet.
It is quite intriguing that this decision only seems to impact Visa-branded payment cards issued by Scotiabank. While it is a bit unclear if this decision was forced upon the bank by Visa itself, it is quite interesting to see the statement phrased in such a manner. Any Scotiabank product linked to a Visa debit or credit card will no longer be eligible for crypto purchases moving forward. This does not affect regular checking accounts, by the look of things, although that situation may still change in the future.
It will be interesting to see if this affects other Bitcoin-related activities across Canada in the future. We have seen a fair few companies move to this country to set up Bitcoin mining businesses, and local municipalities are seemingly keen on embracing this business model as well. When banks try to make it difficult to purchase cryptocurrency, however, it indicates that things can evolve in either direction as of right now.
Whether or not other Canadian banks will follow Scotiabank’s lead remains to be determined. Anything is possible as of right now, especially with more and more financial institutions feeling threatened by this new form of money. It is evident banks want to remain relevant for quite some time to come, although blocking cryptocurrency purchases is not the right way to go about things. It’s an interesting situation to keep an eye on; that much is evident.