Banks in Brazil Forced to Restore Accounts for Bitcoin Max
The federal court in Brazil pledged to issue a hefty fine to 2 banks if they don’t adhere to the order to restore the bank accounts of crypto platform Bitcoin Max. Banco Santander will be demanded to pay an amount of 5,000 real, or $1,350, with Banco do Brasil an amount of 20,000 real, or $5,400, if they don’t follow the initial judgment. Bitcoin Max’ attorney, Leonardo Ranna, has confirmed that all the bank accounts for the crypto platform have already reopened, including the ones from external partners.
Last September, CADE began investigating 6 major banks in Brazil following the closure of various accounts that belonged to crypto platforms, without giving reasonable explanation and completely refusing to discuss the matter. The investigation revolved around some speculations that there were some monopolistic activities that are effecting brokers’ work in the crypto industry.
The outcome of the investigation isn’t publicly known yet. However, the initial ruling from the court may just last for a short while. The banks followed the ruling so as not to pay the fine which they were compelled to do within 5 days.
Ana Catarino, the judge in the case, offered the ruling based on the fact that the banks suddenly decided to completely close the bank accounts without providing any explanations. This behavior was described as abusive and in violation of consumer rights.
When Bitcoin Max’s account at Banco do Brasil had been abruptly closed, there was around $32,400 still stored there. The company chose to file a suit against the bank regarding this issue on the 12th of September. The primary injunction was rejected at first, but a judge within a federal court forced the bank to reactivate the accounts or pay a fine that reached $540 daily.
Accounts’ Sudden Shutdown
The CEO of Bitcoin Max, Adriano Zanella, claimed there was never any notice or warning before the bank accounts were shut down and that he found out from the agency’s manager. At the time of the investigation by CADE, a lot of the major banks stood accused of forcing certain restrictions and denying access to their system by crypto brokerages. The banks responded that this accusation was not true and that they froze the accounts for security reasons as a way to stop money laundering activities. A few of the banks that were included in this investigation are Banco Santander, Banco do Brasil, Banco Bradesco, Banco Inter and Sicredi, and also Itau Unibanco.
Brazil is a major hub for cryptocurrencies in the region. There are more than 1.4 million individuals in Brazil currently trading in BTC and other cryptos, a number that increased from 100,000 just 2 years before. Last year, over $2.4 billion in BTC has been traded in Brazil rising from just $160 million the year before.