Bitcoin Max, a Brazilian cryptocurrency exchange, has just regained access to its banking accounts after being shut down earlier this year. As reported by Portal do Bitcoin, Bitcoin Max previously banked with Santander and Banco do Brasil. Without prior notice, these banks cut off Bitcoin Max’s accounts, leaving Bitcoin Max with no banking relationships. Yesterday, Santander and Banco do Brasil re-opened Bitcoin Max’s accounts after prosecution threatened them with fines.
According to the report, Bitcoin Max lost their bank accounts last month.
Adriano Zanella, CEO of Bitcoin Max, said no bank formally communicated this news to them beforehand. After losing their accounts, Bitcoin Max pressed charges. The case was initially turned down by the courts, so Bitcoin Max’s lawyer elevated the case to the Federal District & Territorial Court (TJDFT). It was then found that Banco do Brasil could be liable for closing accounts without prior notification, which is violation of Central Bank of Brazil Resolution No. 2,025 / 93 “abusive conduct” by the judge.
Closing Bitcoin Max’s accounts without formal notification means Santander could be on the hook for a fee of $1,340, and Banco de Brasil a fee of $5,361 (in Brazilian Real). To avoid paying these fines, both banks folded their cards and re-opened Bitcoin Max’s accounts.
It should be noted that the Federal District & Territorial Court’s decision is not final, and the banks could reverse their decision.
Bitcoin in Brazil
In addition, this case does not mean that Bitcoin businesses are free to transact in Brazil. Previously this month, Brazil’s Supreme Court of Justice confirmed that banks have the power to shut down cryptocurrency exchanges. As CryptoGlobe reported, the Brazilian Court officially allowed Itau Bank to shut down their relationship with the Mercado Bitcoin exchange, which had been fighting for its account since 2015.
In this case, the courts ruled that Itau Bank reserves the right to shut down accounts at any time. Therefore, it’s possible that Bitcoin Max’s accounts could be closed in the future if given prior notification. Only time will tell how Brazil will act towards the growing industry that is cryptocurrency.