One of the largest Brazilian banks, Bradesco, has notified crypto exchange Bitblue that its banking accounts will be closed late February, local crypto outlet Portal do Bitcoin reported on Feb. 13.
As the outlet has learned from unnamed industry insiders, Bitblue will face the closure of its accounts in Bradesco on Feb. 26. Moreover, the decision extends to the private accounts of Bitblue owners.
Edisio Pereira, CEO of Bitblue, told Portal do Bitcoin that the company has previously had accounts in four other financial institutions; therefore, Bitblue will not appeal against the bank’s actions. However, its co-founders and partners — whose names are not specified — will definitely appeal, as the move can affect their reputation, Pereira added.
The local Association of Crypto and Blockchain (ABCB) has already reported the case to the Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), an antitrust regulator operated by country’s Ministry of Justice. In its complaint, ABCB claims that the bank has violated the rules of free competition.
CADE initially launched a probe against six major national banks — including Banco do Brasil, Banco Bradesco, Itaú Unibanco Holding and Banco Santander Brasil — in September 2018. Following several complaints about banking accounts closure, the antitrust watchdog started investigating alleged monopolistic practices in the crypto space.
In October, CADE decided to review the recent activity of the crypto exchanges themselves. The regulator sent a questionnaire to ten companies that had claimed that their rights were violated by the banks: Bitcoin Market, Bitcambio, BitcoinTrade, Foxbit, Walltime, Braziliex, BitBlue, Open Digital Capital (OTC), e-juno and Profitfy.
Subsequently in October, Banco do Brasil and Santander Brasil were forced to reopen accounts for local crypto exchange Bitcoin Max following a preliminary decision granted by the Federal District Court. The judge ruled that the aforementioned banks failed to notify the exchange of account closure, which was treated as “abusive conduct” violating consumer protection rules.
More recently, Portal do Bitcoin reported on a similar decision that was taken against Banco Santander Brasil, which is now obliged to reopen Bitcoin Max accounts as well.