Finnish bitcoin services provider, Prasos, has lost all but one of its banking partners. Prasos’ chief executive officer recently revealed that four Finnish banks have terminated services with the company, leaving Prasos reliant on a single bank.
Finnish Banks Terminate Services With Prasos
According to the company’s website, Prasos provides its customers with a number of cryptocurrency-related services, including facilitating the purchase and sale of bitcoin. After losing the services of S-Bank, the OP Group, Saastopankki and Nordea Bank AB, the company now relies on a single banking institution in order to maintain operations.
Henry Brade, Prasos’ chief executive officer, has attributed the company’s banking woes to the dramatic recent rise in the popularity of of cryptocurrencies. “We’ve realized that the growth in international transaction volumes started to disturb the banks,” Mr. Brade recently told Bloomberg. Mr. Brade stated that Prasos had witness growth in transaction volume of almost 1,000% when comparing the company’s performance in 2017 to that of the preceding year.
Mr. Brade also blamed the lack of regulatory clarity with regards to cryptocurrencies for exacerbating perceptions of risk associated with businesses operating in the cryptocurrency industry, concluding that the company is currently hoping that regulators will soon develop a clear legislative apparatus that boosts confidence in bitcoin businesses among financial institutions.
Prasos CEO Fears Total Loss of Banking Partners
Amid the increasing regulatory actions targeting the cryptocurrency industry, Mr. Brade states that Prasos has sought to take greater steps to ensure regulatory compliance. “We’ve created identification practices, which we have taken into use in March, and they comply fully with anti-money laundering laws and regulations, even though authorities do not even require this from us as our business is not under regulatory obligations […] Along the way, we’ve been given very little information by the banks on what we could do to solve the problem.”
Hanna Heiskanen, a senior adviser at Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) in Helsinki, has stated that “Cryptocurrency trading places are not currently under the regulatory mandate of the Finnish FSA,” adding that Prasos’ troubles are “an affair between the company and the bank[s].”
“The risk is that we’ll see our last bank account closed before we can get the next one opened,” said Mr. Brade. “That would freeze our business.”
What is your reaction to the increasing reluctance of banking institutions regarding partnering with companies that operate in the cryptocurrency industry? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Prasos
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