Five banks in China have come out to clarify that accounts belonging to legal cryptocurrency traders, will not be frozen, as this is against their policies.
Legal Crypto Traders’ Accounts Will Not Be Frozen
Authorities in China have started cracking down on bank accounts belonging to cryptocurrency traders in the country. However, five banks in the country have come out to clarify their policies, stating that the bank accounts of cryptocurrency traders are safe, as long as the bank accounts are legal. They confirmed that such accounts and the transactions carried out would not be frozen as long as the users did not get involved in anything illegal.
The police in China are freezing bank accounts and bank credit and debit cards of OTC (over the counter) cryptocurrency traders as they battle the illicit activities involving digital assets. At the moment, authorities have frozen about 4,000 bank accounts in China’s Guangdong province. Several reports also indicate that police in Sichuan are freezing the bank accounts of cryptocurrency traders and miners.
A reporter from the China Times recently asked five banks regarding their policies towards freezing bank accounts of people that carry out cryptocurrency transactions. These banks are the Bank of China, China Merchants Bank, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the Agricultural Bank of China. All these banks had the same response. The news outlet quotes these banks as saying that as long as the operations of these cryptocurrency traders and miners are legal, the channel is legal, and the crypto sources are legal, then the banks support their services. As such, they would not intentionally freeze these accounts unless they carried out illegal activities like money laundering and fraud.
What You See Is Not What You Get
Despite this, some people have reported that their bank accounts have been frozen even though they are not involved in any illegal activities. A woman told reporters from China Times that she purchased cryptocurrencies from a significant crypto exchange using her bank card. However, her bank account was frozen a week after carrying out the transaction. She stated that she was shocked when it happened, insisting that she did not do anything illegal by purchasing the cryptocurrencies. She tried to restore her account, but the bank told her that her account was frozen by the police, and as such, she has to wait for their official notification. A Bitcoin miner also shared his story after his bank account was recently frozen by the authorities. The miner stated that he was notified that he could unfreeze his account using his ID card and other related information.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), which is the apex bank in the country, has been boosting its anti-money laundering campaign. Local Chinese media are reporting that the police have cracked down on numerous substantial money laundering cases that involve cryptos. While regulators in China banned local crypto exchanges from operating since September 2017, Bitcoin and other digital currencies remain legal entities in the country, as supported by several courts in China.
While banks are reassuring their customers that accounts showing legal transactions and operations with cryptocurrencies will not be frozen, industry experts recommend offering more effective alternatives. The experts believe that using a separate bank account for cryptocurrency transactions would be better since the cards from these accounts will then not be linked with the clients’ mortgages and loan applications.