Leading Nordic forex bank rejects Bitcoin business on moral grounds

The news comes only a day after already ex-vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation was charged for money laundering conspiracy

We have become accustomed to the speed at which action is shifting in the world of cryptocurrencies and specifically Bitcoin. It may come to you as no surprise that Bloomberg BusinessWeek has reported today that previously known for endorsing Bitcoin trading bank SEB AB has backtracked on its previous commitment and renounced the digital currency since there are “large uncertainties” surrounding its status.

The bank is based in Norway – a country that is known for laying moral ground on investments. For example their huge sovereign wealth fund has ended up scrapping investments in tobacco companies and arms producers in the past. Money-laundering is taken very seriously in the oil-rich Nordic nation so after yesterday’s announcement by US authorities that key global promoter of Bitcoin Charlie Shrem was arrested on Sunday, the bank was quick to react.

Chief risk officer at the bank Johan Andersson has replied to a set of questions by Bloomberg that the company and the government have already established rules to prevent money-laundering, so in the end the bank has decided against offering transactions, currency exchange or accounts denominated in the digital currency.

BusinessWeek’s report goes on to add that the biggest bank on the Scandinavian Peninsula, Nordea Bank has also warned clients about Bitcoin and risks related to digital currencies. In the end nobody really knows who is behind these products and it all might just be a successful Ponzi scheme in the eyes of Estonian Central Banker Mihkel Nommela.

Meanwhile vice chairman of the Bitcoin foundation, which is one of the official titles of Charlie Shrem has been released from detention after paying $1 million bond and has resigned from his post. Reuters has reported that according to prosecutors ex-CEO of now closed BitInstant exchange Mr Shream has conspired with Robert Faiella to sell more than $1 million worth of Bitcoins to customers of the infamous Silk road exchange.

As we are writing this article the New York Department of Financial Services is holding a hearing on the digital currency, which could produce some volatility. Meanwhile while modestly pulling back from yesterday’s highs above 1000, Bitcoin prices have stabilized around 950 as of writing. We will keep a close eye on further developments surrounding the digital currency and keep you posted, so stay tuned to LeapRate.

For the full article by Bloomberg BusinessWeek click here.

For more on the global Forex industry see the LeapRate-Dow Jones Forex Industry Report.  

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