The biggest foreign currency trader in Sweden Skadinavska Enskilda Banken, mostly recognized as SEB, refuses to provide some of it services to clients whose business includes distribution or any other management Bitcoin. Johan Anderson the chief risk officer of SEB has recently answered a few questions sent by Bloomberg reporters via e-mail.
He acknowledges that Bank does not accept, exchange or even hold Bitcoin through their accounts. Due to the amounts of money swirling around the banks corporate clients, they have to thoroughly check what kind of business is associated with them and Bitcoin is not on the list of favorites.
There is a good reason why SEB regards digital currencies not suitable to work with. Both called “uncertainties” by Anderson. First is claimed to be the legal reason, meaning that SEB does not want to get involved with Bitcoin due to a probability that it can be used to launder money, referencing their company’s rules and the law.
The claim was made after the arrest of Charlie Shrem, whose money laundering case is being followed by Cointelegraph from the first day. Although, it is just a matter of timing, SEB was rejecting crypto before the arrest took place.
The last two weeks it seems like big players in the economic and political arenas are beginning to take sides for and against the cryptocurrencies, leaving behind the “wait & see” policy of Israel regulators. Bitcoin cannot be simply ignored anymore.
The turmoil around Shrem acts like a catalyst, the big players begin to make statements if they want to associate themselves with Coin or not. Some like the State of Washington choose the regulation path, by announcing that digital currencies are not money, but if a company wants to make a transaction of crypto to a resident of the given state, it must first ask the Department of Financial Institutions of Washington if a license is required.
Returning to SEB, the aforementioned Nordic bank is not the only one to have a negative opinion on cryptocurrencies. A spokesman of Nordea Bank AB, Erik Durhan has advised its employers customers to stay away from Bitcoin as it still purely experimental and has no governmental regulation.
Thus, having in mind everything said before we have a situation that might bring interesting consequences for both the crypto and global economics in general. On the one hand, there is a scenario where the Washington’s policy regarding digital currencies will be adapted and not only in other states of US but also in EU countries, Asia etc. I’m not speaking of the exact copying of the law, but the somewhat strict regulation idea. Even shorter – more bureaucracy, closer to fiat, but much further from the original design of the Bitcoin.
On the other hand, instead of adopting, the majority of world community could reject the novelty leaving Coin in semi-legal or illegal states, while those continuing the idea of Satoshi Nakamoto will hide behind the onion routing or maybe the delocalized internet BitCloud, which is still in a blueprint stage.
Of course, both of these possibilities are only speculations, hence should not be considered serious, as there are many ways how history could unwrap further. However, dear readers, I do wonder, if there were only two options described, what would you choose? A regulated but legal or shady but with a taste of freedom to it?