Operators of digital currency exchange platforms face quite a few challenges; from zealous regulators to persistent hackers and from technical issues to volatility, there are many issues that make the lives of cryptocurrency entrepreneurs very difficult, and one of the thorniest is being able to maintain a good working relationship with established financial institutions. A recent legal victory by a digital currency brokerage in Brazil proves just how hard it can be to work with a bank when crypto tokens are involved.
Banco Bradesco, one of the most prominent banks in South America, was found to have acted outside of contractual obligations after freezing the funds and closing the account of M Intermediação e Prestação de Serviço, a financial services firm that used Bradesco to allow clients to deposit money into Bitcoin trading portfolios. The Bradesco account was also used to complete currency exchange transactions for clients, but the bank arbitrarily closed the account after it claimed that its security monitoring systems had detected fraudulent activity.
The M Intermediação brokerage filed a lawsuit complaining that the bank failed to notify about the activity before taking action; moreover, the complaint notes that the reasons given by Bradesco for closing the account did not conform to the service agreement. This incident, which dates back to last year, was finally resolved after the court determined that the bank was not able to adequately explain why security analysts believed the account activity was suspicious.
Bradesco is not the only bank in Brazil that has been sued by cryptocurrency exchange platforms after locking them out of accounts. Santander, a Spanish banking giant with a strong presence in Latin America, is currently dealing with a similar situation in court. Another country where crypto entrepreneurs are taking banks to court is Chile, where three cases entered the appellate process earlier this year, one of them involving Scotiabank, a Canadian financial services brand that has been trying to expand across Latin America. Even though cryptocurrency adoption has been growing in Chile, the conservative banking system of that prosperous country has been slow to welcome Bitcoin and other tokens.