Polish financial institutions have been doing everything within their power to shutter the operations of cryptocurrency exchanges as well as other Bitcoin-linked businesses in the region. While some firms such as BitBay have already migrated to countries with amenable crypto regulations, the Polish Bitcoin Association (PSB) has now filed a petition against Polish banks in a bid to force them to lift the ban.
Ending the Madness
Per a Finance Magnates report, the Polish Bitcoin Association (PSB), a body in charge of creating awareness about cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology in Poland, has taken it upon themselves to challenge the decision of local banks to place an embargo on Bitcoin-related firms and exchanges in the country.
At present, there are no laws that stipulate that it is a crime to trade digital assets in Poland. Yet per the PSB document, about 15 major banks in Poland have refused to open accounts for 52 crypto firms while about 25 bank accounts belonging to exchanges and digital currency-powered businesses have been frozen.
As such, the PSB has written a petition to the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP). The petition asks the authorities to call the banks to order, as their actions are not in line with the Polish constitution. In the petition, the PSB appeals to the OCCP to investigate the matter and impose stringent penalties on banks that are involved in the innovation-stifling practice.
It is worth noting that most financial institutions in Poland see blockchain-based digital currencies as a threat to their existence. Back in February 2018, reports emerged that Poland’s central bank, in collaboration with the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, had paid YouTubers to carry out a slander campaign against cryptocurrencies.
Government not Against Cryptos
Just like in China, initial coin offerings (ICOs) are banned in Poland. However, the government has made it clear that cryptocurrency trading is not an illegal activity in the country. “Trading in crypto assets and trading venues themselves are not prohibited by law, and therefore its transactions are legal in the territory of the Republic of Poland,” said the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) in June 2018.
Amidst that backdrop, the PSB is determined to see to it that the financial institutions lift the blanket ban placed on crypto businesses. The organization stated:
“The effects of the banks’ actions described clearly aim at removing virtual currency entities from the market, despite the fact that such activities are legal and conducted with dignity. In view of the above, action by the regulators is necessary, and this notice and these requests are fully substantiated.”
The Unending War between Banks and Cryptos
Poland is not the only country whose banks have retaliated against the rise of crypto. Other countries’ national banks have drafted draconian laws to govern the cryptosphere or have completely paralyzed the operations of exchanges by shutting down their bank accounts.
On May 30, 2018, BTCManager reported that Zimbabwe’s largest cryptocurrency exchange had won the lawsuit it filed against the nation’s central bank for illegally banning crypto trading activities in Zimbabwe. Presently, the Indian digital currency ecosystem is in a state of FUD as the July 5, 2018 deadline given to all exchanges to leave the country is fast approaching.
Importantly, the PSB is fighting a ‘good war,’ and if they win, it will serve as a massive boost to the Polish cryptosphere.