A screenshot uploaded to Reddit by an employee seemingly shows a staff bulletin announcing the bank would “block” all credit, debit and online payments to cryptocurrency exchanges.
The reason, the bulletin claims, is “volatility.”
“Effective immediately, BMO will be blocking cryptocurrency merchant transactions,” it reads.
“This decision was made due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, and to better protect the security of our clients and the bank.”
Bitcoin prices continue to fluctuate between around $7500 and $11,500 this year, but the speed of changes is conspicuously less volatile than during some previous stages of the cryptocurrency’s nine-year history.
BMO did not appear to mention how cryptocurrency negatively impacts its or its customers’ security, nor provide evidence that this had occurred.
In blocking transactions, the bank mimics a highly controversial move by Visa earlier this year regarding cryptocurrency-based debit cards.
At the same time, previously hostile institutions have been U-turning on Bitcoin, with UK-based Barclays even partnering with the US’ largest exchange Coinbase this month to make payouts to UK cryptocurrency holders faster and cheaper.