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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India’s Finance Minister Says Countries Are 'Rushing' Into Cryptocurrency

  • India's Finance Minister and Reserve Bank Governor cautioned against countries rushing into digital currencies. 
  • IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva said the organization is taking a "balance approach" to regulation.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das and Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman cautioned that countries are rushing into cryptoassets, in the wake of Facebook’s handling of libra. 

Das spoke on cryptoassets earlier in the week at the annual meeting for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Sitharaman told Indian reporters of the meeting, 

On our side, the Reserve Bank Governor spoke about it during our turn to intervene. I got the sense that many countries were cautioning on rushing into this.

Das continued, explaining how some officials took issue with libra being labeled a ‘stablecoin,’

Some of them [countries] of course even suggested that they shouldn't be using, all of us shouldn't be using the name stable currency because that's the expression they used. Many cautioned to the extent saying even the name should not be stable currency, it should relate to virtual currency or something of the kind.

Sitharaman said the general consensus was that countries need to show “extreme” caution in the handling of digital currencies. However, she also admitted there were discussions about the benefits of digital currencies, saying that "presentations were also highlighting the strenghts of such virtual currency."

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the organization is taking a “very balanced approach” to crypto-assets while being “mindful” of the risks they pose for consumers. 

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