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In contrast to United states central banks not accepting the use of bitcoin as payments, Australia’s biggest banks have ruled out any notion of barring customers from buying cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. These banks will not be withholding their customers from buying digital currencies using their banks’ services which includes credit cards, Australia’s ABC news reports.
While Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) rejects dealing with businesses operating as ‘issuers, dealers or exchanges’ of cryptocurrency due to their unregulated nature, the banks have no issues or reservations about its customers buying cryptocurrencies with their money. Speaking to ABC news, an ANZ spokesman said the bank: “Does not prohibit buying digital or cryptocurrencies, or accepting them as a form of payment.
“A spokeswoman for Westpac, Australia’s second-largest bank by market capitalization, also added that the bank currently has no restrictions on the use of credit card in the purchase of cryptocurrency. “We currently have no restrictions on credit card use to purchase cryptocurrency. “Meanwhile, the National Australia Bank (NAB), has hinted at putting the brakes on ‘some card transactions’ to reduce customer risks if certain security flags are triggered. While the Commonwealth bank hasn’t confirmed or denied such a policy, there are no instances to suggest the bank is barring customers from buying cryptocurrencies.
Australia is already pressing ahead with new regulatory rules and law for cryptocurrency exchange platforms with new legislation bringing exchange operators under the preview of the country’s financial intelligence agency and watchdog, AUSTRAC. While the banks’ stance could change in the future, their clear statements in the present run contrary to the moves made by a handful of major retail banks in the UK and the US. On Tuesday, British banking giant Lloyds Group confirmed it would block its 9 million credit card users from buying cryptocurrencies, fearing a rise in future unpaid debts amid volatile changes that seems to affect the cryptocurrency markets rather constantly. The ban extends to its subsidiary banks Halifax, MBNA and the Bank of Scotland.
Llyods’ shift in policy to bar cryptocurrency purchases follows similar moves made by two major US banks over the weekend. JPMorgan Chase, the largest US bank, and Bank of America have both placed a ban on cryptocurrency purchases using credit cards. JPMorgan’s ban went into effect on Saturday while the Bank Of America’s ban, which extends to personal and business credit cards, kicked in on Friday. Citigroup has also halted cryptocurrency purchases on its credit cards but confirmed it would ‘review’ its policy as the cryptocurrency market evolves.
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