A Portuguese branch of Santander had previously been blocking all transactions that were slightly related to Bitcoin, claiming that those exchanges that had been partaking in transactions involved financial products that were completely unregulated.
However; the bank faced an awful lot of backlash, and this has caused them to backtrack, and have now completely changed their opinions and have now started to process these transactions.
Transactions from Coinbase and Bitstamp were among some of the exchanges where transactions were originally blocked. These are two very popular exchanges, and this led to a lot of frustration from those who were wanting to conduct business using Bitcoin. The news that the bank had blocked these transactions was lead by an employee, but it resulted in Santander losing a lot of clients who left for other institutions who were prepared to handle the virtual currency.
The pressure from the users, and the loss in clients led the bank to change their mind, and now users who wanted to make these transactions can, and can send their funds to their Coinbase accounts. This is a victory for Bitcoins and digital currencies on the whole, and goes a certain way to show that virtual currencies are slowly being accepted into everyday life again.
A petition, which was due to be sent to the parliament of Portugal when they received 1,000 signatures claimed that Santander was trying to ‘keep Portugal in the middle ages’. They also insinuated that the bank was not looking after their client’s best interest.
The quick turnaround could also be because their ban was not actually that effective as some customers were simply able to have their transactions go through to different exchanges.
The same group that started the petition, have also sent a proposal to both the European Commissioner who is in charge of the defence of consumers and the Ministry of Finance in Portugal related to the taxing of crypto gains. This topic is most likely going to become more and more prevalent as the months go on.
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