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Bank issues and Bitcoin

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Comments

  • This is an interesting thread. As the organizer of a local meetup, I too am in contact with several local bitcoin-related businesses that do in fact have functioning banking relationships. But like @BitcoinCooperative‌, I'm not inclined to call them out here because the landscape is so muddy and unclear right now that I'd fear any undue attention directed at them could be devastating to those relationships.

  • MATTBMATTB Member
    @bitcoincooperative, I'd be more than happy to help out and to share ideas. Please email me @ mburgoyne@mcleod-law.com and let's chat further.

    My advice (what I'm conveying to clients who still have accounts with credit unions or banks) is DON"T ever mention the word Bitcoin in your discussions with the CU's or banks, just treat the relationship like you're running a sock manufacturing business or whatever. I'm just expressing my own experiences with clients who DO have existing bank accounts (whom I fear will be dumped at any given time, which did just happen this week in one case) and those who don't have accounts as a result of the above. If you are currently being banked, just be hush hush about digital currency since it is possible they may arbitrarily drop you as a client (and they have this right, opening a bank account is a privilege not a right).

    @bitcoincooperative, reach out to me at mburgoyne@mcleod-law.com, even if you just want to chat about things. I'd like to assist.

    Meetups are great ideas, my only concern is that it is possible that misinformation may be spread at those meetings and some people may reach incorrect conclusions as a result, but what can you do....Meetups have intrinsic value as they bring our community together on a regular basis which is awesome!!!

    Anyways, I'd like to add everyone on this thread to my mass email list re: Bitcoin regulation updates (there was one yesterday via the Budget Implementation Act), so if you would all be so kind as to provide me with your email addy's (even confidentially through my email) then I'll add you to my list and you'll get up to the minute info on developing regulations affecting Bitcoin/Altcoin.

    Just an FYI guys, effective as early as Jan 1, 2015, it looks as though (unfortunately) Bitcoin or digital currency business (not just the exchanges) will have to register as MSB's in order to comply with the MSB regulation that's appended to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act. That was specifically referred to on page 22 of the (federal) Budget Implementation Act introduced this week, unfortunately you'll have to email me for the PDF version of the Act as I can't find a link, but the bottom line (as seen on page 22 of the referenced Act) is that the definition of an MSB is changing to include digital currency.

    Cheers and enjoy your weekend!!
  • @MATTB‌ Thanks so much for your lengthy responses! The information is great. One point I'd like to clarify - I've been in the web development business and have had a bank account since 1997 for that business at the same bank.

    Are you suggesting that if the bank discovers that I am now willing to accept Bitcoin as payment in addition to cheques, Visa & Mastercard which I presently accept, there is a good chance they will close my account?

    If this is the case, I guess sending a press release announcing the decision to accept BTC is not a good idea?
  • MATTBMATTB Member
    @WeeHughie, my advice would be to NOT send out any public press release re: BTC acceptance that would attract audiences other than your regular clients. If you have a conact list of your clients, you could privately notify them of the new payment method, then simply list BTC on the site as another form of acceptable payment.

    There is a possibility that if your bank discovers you are accepting BTC then yes, they may close your account. It is difficult to predict what the chances are of that actually happening, but it is definitely a possibility. Just carry on with your bank as though it's "business as ususal", don't use the "B" word!

    Cheers,
  • @MATTB‌ Thanks so much again, for your advice and thoughts. It's very much appreciated! Guess I can stroke out one thing from my "to do" list I had for tomorrow :)
  • BitcoinCooperativeBitcoinCooperative Member Plus
    edited March 2014
    Waves Coffee House still has their bank account, though, and they made worldwide news. I've not heard much of regular businesses having their bank accounts shut down because of Bitcoin; they have targeted crypto-specific businesses. I wouldn't let it deter you from getting more publicity unless you're planning on opening a new account at a different bank, soon.
  • MATTBMATTB Member
    @BitcoinCooperative‌, as I said there is a real possibility that companies like Waves who have made international headlines, could have their banking relationship terminated. Again, this is just a possibility. For example, a Bitcoin company in Calgary who made international headlines had their BMO account dropped a few weeks ago. I take your point about banks targeting crypto-specific businesses, however the way some of my clients have presented their business models to banks and CU's, with only a reference to digital currency as an adjunct and not the primary focus of the business by any means, have been denied an account.

    Cheers!! Love this site BTW CoinGuy...glad I found you guys!
  • CoinGuyCoinGuy Administrator
    edited March 2014
    @MATTB‌ thank you. Glad to have your perspective. :)
  • MikeXBTMikeXBT Member Plus
    WeeHughie said:

    @MATTB‌ Thanks so much for your lengthy responses! The information is great. One point I'd like to clarify - I've been in the web development business and have had a bank account since 1997 for that business at the same bank.

    Are you suggesting that if the bank discovers that I am now willing to accept Bitcoin as payment in addition to cheques, Visa & Mastercard which I presently accept, there is a good chance they will close my account?

    If this is the case, I guess sending a press release announcing the decision to accept BTC is not a good idea?

    You'll be fine. I would recommend enjoying the publicity which you will be afforded by announcing said acceptance. Accepting Bitcoin as a payment option, as a regular (non-crypto) business... particularly one with a prior relationship with the bank, should not result in any banking issues for you.
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