Group to Treasury: Bitcoin Businesses Unfairly Denied Bank Accounts

Jan. 8, 2015

Group to Treasury: Bitcoin Businesses Unfairly Denied Bank Accounts The Chamber of Digital Commerce, a non-profit lobbying group advocating for Bitcoin and other digital currencies, will be presenting in Washington next week to a Treasury Department roundtable discussion on financial access for Money Services Businesses (MSBs). Perianne Boring, the group’s president, said many bitcoin businesses that do not fall under the definition of an MSB are being treated as such and being denied access to bank accounts. Boring told the opportunity to address Treasury is another step in mainstream acceptance of a technology that she characterizes as still being in very early days.

According to Carol Van Cleef, chair of the Digital Chamber’s Financial Access Task Force, the confusion among bankers, regulators and legislators over what kinds of Bitcoin businesses actually qualify as MSBs and which do not, can put some undeserving businesses in a very precarious situation.

“Companies that are involved in developing and deploying the protocol of cryptocurrencies or other digital assets—but are not involved in the provision of money transmission or other MSB activities—are being denied access to banking services,” Van Cleef said. “At best, this is a tremendous diversion of time and resources. At worst, companies are forced out of business, without having the opportunity to recognize the full potential of the technology.”