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Strained Relations: Banks and Crypto Navigate Regulatory Uncertainty

Banks are cautious about engaging with digital assets due to the absence of consistent regulations in the emerging market. As a result, some European Union countries have imposed a complete prohibition on digital assets at a national regulatory level until the implementation of a uniform regulatory framework for digital assets across Europe.

Maintaining their position within the financial system is paramount for banks, and they are hesitant to take any risks that could lead to their exclusion. Therefore, if banks perceive a risk associated with digital assets, they are likely to avoid them altogether.

Sumsub’s chief legal officer, Tony Petrov, explained to Cointelegraph that the recent decline in the crypto market is one of the reasons why some banks are taking action.

According to Petrov, during the crypto market’s bullish phase, some banks were lured into working with crypto exchanges, even if they lacked knowledge of the industry, because of the high profits that were being generated. However, as the crypto market experiences a downturn, banks may reconsider their previous involvement and adjust their policies.

Petrov also believes that now is the time to be cautious rather than take unnecessary risks, and some banks that were once active in the crypto industry may decide to retreat.

Crypto businesses are working to restore their reputation in the financial world by establishing stronger compliance infrastructure. He suggests that third-party providers could help ensure appropriate levels of risk management and encourage mutual trust between crypto exchanges and banks, thereby harmonizing their approaches.

Lars Seier Christensen, the founder of Saxo Bank, believes that the recent crypto disasters, such as the situation with FTX, and the low trading volumes in the market have undermined confidence in the industry. Banks are now of the opinion that the benefits of engaging in crypto trading are not worth the increasing regulatory and business risks.

The difficulty in accessing crypto exchanges may limit the influx of new clients and deposits, further contributing to the issue of low trading volume. In order to overcome this challenge, the industry could follow the example of credit card companies that allow transactions with businesses that banks typically restrict, such as gambling and adult sites. Nevertheless, the most effective approach for the industry as a whole would be to fully embrace clear regulations, abide by them strictly, and contribute to their development using their expertise.

According to Eddie Hui, the COO of the crypto exchange platform MetaComp, it is not unusual to see a surge in clients attempting to withdraw their funds from exchanges all at once, which could lead to bank runs.

Mitigating the risk associated with the crypto market can involve reducing exposure to it and broadening the client base. This is a prudent course of action for banks and their investors, who may have experienced losses in the 2022 crypto market.

Regarding Silvergate’s restrictions, it is important to note that they apply only to transactions under $100,000. Some exchanges may opt to combine withdrawal requests and employ a third-party payment provider to facilitate scheduled withdrawals. However, this approach may result in additional expenses, delays, operational complexities, and counterparty risks.

Hui added that while there may be some ways to work around the restrictions imposed by banks on crypto exchanges, it is unfortunate to see the gap between the two industries widening, as it is ultimately the end client who will bear the brunt of these changes.

The recent move by Binance’s USD banking partner has caused concern among members of the crypto community, especially in the aftermath of a disastrous 2022 that saw several major players in the crypto space falter, leading to a loss of confidence in the industry.

While regulators have declared their intention to prioritize crypto, experts argue that uniform regulations are necessary to restore trust. Until such regulations are put in place, exchanges will have to find ways to navigate the obstacles and risks on their own.

News Desk

Unlock News Desk, is a group of Blockchain and Crypto enthusiastic young people, working to keep Unlock readers up to date with the industry news. Connect with the team via email: info(@)

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