The Chilean anti-monopoly court has again granted protection to local cryptocurrency exchanges by forcing banks to keep their accounts open, financial news outlet Diario Financiero reported Jan. 2.
According to a recent statement from Buda.com — one of the crypto exchanges affected by previously upheld banking restrictions — the anit-monopoly court known as the Tribunal de Defensa de la Libre Competencia (TDLC) has held a poll, and most of its members voted in favor of the crypto firms.
The next few hearings are scheduled for February, when the TDLC will hear the testimony of both parties. The hearings will be attended by Chilean top officials, including the country’s Minister of Finance, Felipe Larrain, Minister of Economy, Jose Ramon Valente, and the president of the country's banks association, Segismundo Schulin-Zeuthen.
The TDLC has responded to a previous decision taken by the Chilean Supreme Court in early December. The country’s top court then insisted that banks had legal rights not to provide services to crypto exchanges, as they are not regulated by Chilean law and might be associated with money laundering.
As a consequence, Banco del Estado and Itau Corpbanca — the banks seeking to close crypto-related accounts — appealed to the anti-monopoly court, urging it to cancel protection measures. However, in its current resolution, the TDLC clarified that the Supreme Court’s ruling does not create a judicial precedent to uplift any of the previous resolutions.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, last March crypto exchanges CryptoMKT, Buda.com and OrionX claimed that their bank accounts were frozen by several Chilean banks. TDLC soon granted them protection, and the country’s Minister of Finance promised to come up with relevant crypto regulation as soon as possible. Nonetheless, in December, Larrain claimed that the legal framework for crypto is still in progress.