Coinbase CEO says Chase UK’s ban on crypto “totally inappropriate”

abdelaziz Fathi

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong criticized Chase UK’s decision to restrict cryptocurrency-related transactions in the UK. He called the move “totally inappropriate” and expressed his disagreement with the bank’s decision to ban its UK customers from conducting debit card or wire transfers related to cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong

Brian Armstrong called on UK officials, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Economic Secretary Andrew Griffith, to review Chase UK’s decision to restrict cryptocurrency-related transactions. CEO of America’s largest crypto exchange hopes that the bank might reconsider its decision after a closer examination by government officials.

Armstrong’s tweets suggested that crypto firms will soon have a clear rulebook for operating in the UK and also underlined the firm’s intentions for international growth as an “existential priority”.

Armstrong added that his recent meeting with UK officials focused on sensible regulations to protect consumers and support economic growth in the crypto market. He stated that Europe is already several steps further down the road, with its Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation set to come into force later this year.

Chase UK, the British digital bank owned by JPMorgan, said earlier this week it will prohibit its customers from conducting cryptocurrency transactions, starting from October 16. This prohibition includes using debit cards for crypto purchases or conducting outgoing bank transfers for crypto-related activities.

JP Morgan’s neobank cites an increase in scams and fraud in the cryptocurrency space, as well as reports of rising crypto fraud-related losses in the UK. Data from Britain’s fraud reporting agency Action Fraud, shared by the law firm RPC, indicates that crypto fraud in the UK surged by 41% in the previous year, reaching a record high of £306 million ($372.3 million).

Chase’s decision follows several of the biggest UK banks banning ‎cryptocurrency transaction over the past months, as part of a global crackdown ‎led by major lenders and credit card issuers. While Chase is not the first, but the action exacerbates pressures and make it more ‎difficult for enthusiasts to buy into the market as more other banks could shortly ‎follow suit.‎

Following the bankruptcy of FTX, Santander UK, Lloyds, Barclays and RBS cut off card purchases and transactions involving cryptocurrency. The banks fear that allowing purchases of cryptocurrencies using money ‎borrowed on credit cards could leave them on the hook if the buyers’ bets were ‎wrong and couldn’t repay their debts.‎

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