Bitfinex, which is a cryptocurrency exchange that has had more than its share of banking troubles in recent years, has switched its banking operations to a Hong Kong-based bank called the Bank of Communications. Founded in 2012 and based in Hong Kong, Bitfinex is at the moment the 4th biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world based on trading volume, with well more than $300 million of digital currency trades processed in the last day alone. In 2015, the exchange added fiat transfers. The Bank of Communications, which is owned in part by U.K.-based Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), has been using U.S.-based Citibank as an intermediary bank when making U.S. dollar transfers to the exchange. But it has been speculated that HSBC is unaware of the arrangement, and this speculation is based on the fact that the bank had previously suspended fiat deposits for the exchange. It is also unclear if Citibank is aware of what is going on. The situation is similar to one that occurred last year when U.S-based bank Wells Fargo ceased acting as an intermediary for the exchange. In response, the exchange filed a lawsuit against the bank, though the exchange subsequently dropped it. Less than 10 days ago, rumors were circulating that Bitfinex was facing both insolvency and serious banking problems. Triggering these rumors was a report that Puerto Rico-based Noble Bank International, which had been providing the exchange with banking services, was looking to sell itself and was no longer providing services to the exchange. Though Bitfinex denied these rumors. On October 11, however, the exchange announced that it was temporarily suspending wire transfers in U.S. dollars, euros, yen and British pounds. What's more, it did not give any reason for this suspension. Though it did say that it expected to resume wire transfers in those currencies within a week. Today the exchange announced that they were introducing a new system for fiat deposits. This system will allow know-your-customer-compliant clients from the world over to make deposits using the suspended currencies. The exchange says that deposits will be reviewed within two days and will be processed between 6 and 10 days.
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