Australian banks defend restrictions, citing that 40% of scams involve crypto.

Australia’s cryptocurrency industry is facing ongoing banking issues, as the government and major banks refuse to back down against scams involving cryptocurrency. During a panel at the Australian Blockchain Week on June 26, Sophie Gilder, managing director of blockchain and digital assets at Commonwealth Bank (CBA), revealed that the bank has placed restrictions on crypto exchange payments after seeing an alarming rate of scams involving cryptocurrency. Nigel Dobson, banking services portfolio lead at ANZ, referred to data from the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange suggesting that the figure may be even higher, at 40%. CBA and Westpac have already imposed pauses, limits, and outright blocks on certain payments to cryptocurrency exchanges, citing an increasing threat of investment scams. However, a Treasury official confirmed that the moves so far have come at the banks’ own “volition” but that both the banks and the government have a “shared view” that cryptocurrency scams are “unacceptably high” at the moment. The bank’s decision has continued to meet criticism from Australian crypto exchange customers, but Australian lawyer and senior research fellow at the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub Aaron Lane has defended the banks’ actions, stating that “imposing time delays, declining transactions, and placing deposit limits are all mechanisms for banks to retake control and limit their legal and regulatory risks.”

Power concluded that cryptocurrency is still a major source of scams in Australia. This calls for both banks and the government to take action to regulate the sector.

Magazine: Unstablecoins: Depegging, bank runs and other risks loom

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