The CEO of Buda.Com, a South American cryptocurrency exchange, has penned an open letter to the Colombian president Ivan Duque, requesting his help to re-open and resume business. This comes after the exchange was unexpectedly forced to shutter earlier this year, in June.
The letter, signed by Buda’s general manager Alejandro Beltrán and its legal manager for Colombia Daniel Villarroel, asks the country’s president to lift a blanket ban the banking industry has seemingly been imposing on businesses dealing with cryptos.
This letter, Mr. President, is very kindly and vehemently ask for your intervention in this great problem in order to reopen our bank accounts. We do not ask for special treatment or exceptions. We only ask to have access to a basic services, like any entrepreneur who starts with an idea that can have a positive impact on society.
It adds that the bank’s actions forced thousands of its users to trade on peer-to-peer marketplaces, in which they can easily be scammed. Per the letter, the blanket ban is an attempt to lock a technological revolution that cannot be stopped.
A Sudden Close
On June 20, the exchange - which boasts over 40,000 accounts in Colombia – ceased operations after banks determined that its platform did not offer enough “guarantees” and denied it services. This led to technical difficulties with the platform as well.
Despite the technical difficulties that plagued it, in addition to its bank accounts being shut down - the exchange claimed originally that it would resume services on June 13. Local news outlet Cripto 247 reported that this all resulted from a letter that circulated earlier this year pointing out banks were not authorized to support cryptocurrency-related platforms.
The letter was reportedly written by a Colombian financial control officer, and Mr. Beltran, Buda’s general manager, confirmed the banks involved were BBVA, Bancolombia, and Davivienda. He believed at the time the issue was temporary, stating the letter was more of a recommendation than an order.
This was not the first time Buda had issues with banks, however. In March, Buda, along with a competing cryptocurrency exchange, Crypto MKT, requested clarification regarding financial institutions’ stance on cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency trading after Chilean banks closed accounts associated with both firms.
Both exchanges took a harsh stance against the government, titling their joint public statement “Chile Can Make a Fool Out Of Itself Or Stand Out Worldwide”. The strategy seemed to have been effective, as Chile’s anti-monopoly court ended up siding with Buda, which led to two banks reopening Buda’s corporate accounts.
It makes sense that the exchange would petition the new president, as he has been vocal about wanting to reinvigorate Colombia’s economy by turning it into a technological leader in the region, even claiming that it was his “obsession”. He even has specifically referenced blockchain technology as a way to increase transparency in government and reduce corruption.
Note: Some sentences in this article were translated from Spanish.