LONDON (Reuters) – Banks in Britain and the United States acquire banned the use of acclaim cards to buy Bitcoin and added “cryptocurrencies”, fearing a attempt in their amount will leave barter clumsy to accord their debts.
Lloyds Cyberbanking Group Plc (LLOY.L), which issues aloof over a division of all acclaim cards in Britain, and Virgin Money (VM.L) said they would ban acclaim agenda barter from affairs cryptocurrencies, afterward the advance of U.S. cyberbanking giants JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Citigroup (C.N).
The move is aimed at attention barter from active up huge debts from affairs basic currencies on credit, if their ethics were to plummet, a Lloyds backer said.
Concerns acquire arisen amidst acclaim agenda providers because their barter acquire more been application acclaim cards to armamentarium accounts on online exchanges, which are again acclimated to acquirement the agenda currencies.
However, added banks said on Monday they will abide to acquiesce acclaim agenda barter to buy cryptocurrencies.
“We consistently analysis our protections for barter as a amenable coffer and lender, and are befitting this amount beneath aing review,” a backer for Barclays said.
Barclays is Britain’s arch acclaim agenda issuer with a bazaar allotment of about 27 percent through its Barclaycard brand.
“At present UK barter can use both their Barclays debit agenda and Barclaycard acclaim agenda to acquirement cryptocurrency legitimately,” the Barclays backer said.
Spain’s second-biggest coffer BBVA (BBVA.MC) additionally said it has no restrictions in abode on such purchases.
Last anniversary Mastercard Inc (MA.N), the world’s additional better payments network, said barter affairs cryptocurrencies with acclaim cards fueled a 1 allotment point access in across transaction volumes in the fourth quarter.
At that time Bitcoin was staging a amazing acceleration in value, extensive a aiguille of $19,187 on Dec. 16 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange.
But the better and best-known cryptocurrency has back collapsed badly and on Monday was bottomward by 11 percent to $7255 at 1719 GMT on Bitstamp, extending losses from Friday amidst worries of a all-around authoritative clampdown.
The accommodation on whether to acquiesce acclaim agenda users to buy cryptocurrencies is a acclaim accident accommodation fabricated by the card-issuing banks, a agent for Mastercard said.
A backer for Chase coffer said it is not currently processing acclaim agenda purchases of cryptocurrencies because of the animation and accident involved, while a Citi backer accepted a agnate ban, but did not accord a reason.
The bans extends alone to acclaim agenda purchases, with debit agenda users still able to buy cryptocurrencies.
“Across Lloyds Bank, Coffer of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA, we do not acquire acclaim agenda affairs involving the acquirement of cryptocurrencies,” the Lloyds backer said in an email.
Lloyds did not say how it planned to accomplish the ban, although the Telegraph bi-weekly appear on Sunday that its acclaim agenda barter will be blocked from affairs Bitcoin online through a “blacklist” that will banderole sellers.
A backer from the Royal Coffer of Scotland (RBS.L) beneath to animadversion on the bank’s policy.
Europe’s better coffer HSBC (HSBA.L) did not acknowledge to requests for animadversion on whether it permits acclaim agenda purchases of cryptocurrencies.
Concerns about the use of Bitcoin and added such currencies extend above the use of acclaim cards for borrowing.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has said Britain should booty a austere attending at agenda currencies such as Bitcoin because of the way they can be acclimated by criminals.
Additional advertisement by Anjuli Davies in London and Jesus Aguado in Madrid; Editing by Peter Cooney and Alexander Smith
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