Months after parting ways with Wells Fargo & Co., bitcoin exchange Bitfinex has finally found a new banking partner in ING.
Incidentally, this new development comes at a time when Bitfinex is under scrutiny by the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to Reuters and Bloomberg, an ING representative confirmed the Dutch bank’s newly founded relationship with the cryptocurrency exchange but refrained from disclosing any further information citing possible violations of confidentiality.
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None of the reports have so far mentioned anything about Tether, the affiliated company that finds itself at the center of many controversies surrounding Bitfinex.
The ING representative, however, clarified that the financial services company always makes sure to perform “more extensive due diligence” on the activities of cryptocurrency companies.
“With companies that are active in the crypto market we are very reserved,” Harold Reusken, spokesperson of Amsterdam-based ING, said in a statement to Bloomberg.
“Not with companies that are in traditional markets and receive or do payments with cryptocurrencies, but with parties that are in the chain of cryptocurrencies.”
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Notably, this happens to be the first-ever time when a major financial services company has admitted to having a working relationship with Bitfinex ever since Wells Fargo & Co. suspended all its transactions earlier in 2017. Shortly after, Bitfinex signed up with another major banking partner and continued that relationship until it persuaded ING to allow an account with them.
BTCManager cannot independently verify when this new account was opened. However, according to a Dutch website dubbed Follow the Money, there is documented evidence suggesting that the two have had a working relationship that can be traced back to at least February 14. Bloomberg claims that prior to that Bitfinex may have been maintaining an account with Spoldzielczy, a Polish bank. Although, it is a relationship that was never confirmed by either party.
Interestingly, Bitfinex has so far been reluctant to confirm its relationship with any major banking partner. The exchange has not yet revealed what services it was using to send and receive money following the dispute with Wells Fargo.
The account with ING is a huge development considering that a giant multinational bank has agreed to collaborate with Bitfinex, which happens to be one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges around today.
On a related note, Bitfinex is operated by the same management team that looks after Tether, a virtual currency that is “pegged” to the U.S. dollar. At the time of writing, nearly $2.2 billion worth Tether coins are in circulation in the global cryptocurrency market.