Ripple CTO: Union Bank 'Closed All My Accounts and Told Me Later’

Siamak Masnavi

On Thursday (May 2; 15:55 PDT), David Schwartz, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Californian FinTech firm Ripple, said some time ago his primary bank, MUFG Union Bank ("Union Bank") had closed all of his accounts without any notice.

The Ripple CTO's comments about what had happened to him came after Ran Neuner ("@cryptomanran" on Twitter), the host of CNBC Africa's "Crypto Trader" show, as well as Co-Founder and CEO of Onchain  Capital, said earlier in the day that his bank had contacted him because they were concerned about his crypto-related deposts and withdrawals:

Schwartz replied to Neuner to explain to him that things could be worse—Neuner's bank could have closed the accounts without any notice—and took this opportunity to remind people that this is why they should never do any crypto-related transactions through their primary bank:

Note that, according to a separate clarifying tweet (sent out roughly 50 minutes after the original version of this article was published) by Schwartz, what happened to him at Union Bank occurred "a couple of years ago," and the word "just" refers to him "getting no warning or opportunity to explain, not it being recent."

Schwartz went on to give more details on how Union Bank had behaved:

Neuner and Schwartz are not the only prominent members of the crypto community who have experienced difficulties with their banks due to crypto-related transactions.

In fact, just one day earlier, Peter McCormack, the host and producer of the "What Bitcoin Did" podcast, said that when he was trying to open a bank account in the UK for his podcast business, he had been "rejected by 6 retail banks":

Of course, the reason that some banks are being ultra strict with their customers when it comes to crypto is concern over compliance with anti money laundering (AML) regulations.

Upon hearing about Neuner's banking woes, Justin Sun, the Founder and CEO of TRON Foundation, suggested that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) should be extended such that it includes the right to buy crypto:


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Zuckerberg Says Libra Can Boost Facebook's Ad Revenue, China Sees It as a Much Bigger Deal

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has, during a shareholder meeting, explained how the Libra cryptocurrency project will help the social media giant make money. China, on the other hand, published a book addressing the challenges Libra poses, arguing it could become the future of world currency.

In a transcript posted by Thomson Reuters, we can read Zuckerberg replied to a question asked by a shareholder on how Facebook will be making money off of the Libra cryptocurrency project. Zuckerberg responded by going into Libra’s potential impact on e-commerce on Facebook, and its potential impact on advertising revenue.

According to the social media giant’s CEO, Facebook does not charge a set price for ads and instead works with a bidding system, where every business trying to advertise will bid to compete for ad space. The system, Zuckerberg said, allows them to get the “lowest possible price.”

He added that combining ads with an effective payment tool such as Libra can benefit businesses further as it could make commerce more efficient:

If we can make commerce be more effective for businesses if when they run an ad, somebody who clicks on that ad is now going to be more likely to buy something because they actually have a form of payment that works that’s on file.

Advertising on Facebook, as such, becomes more worthwhile for businesses, which could in turn see them bid higher on ads and increase overall ad prices. This would effectively boost Facebook’s 0s advertising revenue.

Zuckerberg also reiterated other advantages of Libra, pointing out the payments infrastructure “hasn’t been updated in a very long time.” China, which has plans to launch its own digital currency called DCEP, sees Libra as more than a way for Facebook to make money.

Libra Could Hit China’s Efforts to Increase Yuan Influence

In a book published by the Central Party School of China to educate government officials on digital currency and propose policy measures to deal with emerging challenges like the Libra project, experts argue the latter is an excellent example of a public-private partnership and has the potential to become the future of world currency.

This would mean, according to the book titled “Discussing Digital Currency with Leading Officials,” that Libra could get in the way of the Chinese government’s attempt to increase the influence of the yuan.

Hongzhang Wang, former chairman of the China Construction Bank and one of the authors on the book’s preface, said in a recent article:

China originally relied on mobile payment to get ahead, but now Libra has the potential to change the game again.

Wang added that this would allow companies in the U.S. to build a digital currency system that could “threaten or even surpass” Alipay and WeChat Pay using blockchain technology.

Featured image via Unsplash.