Brazil’s Bitcoin Max Exchange Sees Banco do Brasil And Santander Reopen Bank Accounts
Two of Brazil's leading banks have reopened the bank accounts of a cryptocurrency exchange platform following court orders.
Two of Brazil’s leading banks have reopened the bank accounts of a cryptocurrency exchange platform following court orders.
The Bitcoin Portal reports that Banco do Brasil and Santander have swiftly reopened the accounts operated by Bitcoin Max, one of the crypto-focused businesses that were impacted when some top banks decided to close their accounts.
The two major banks complied with orders given by the Federal District and Territorial Court (TJDFT) to avoid paying fines.
Failure to comply would have seen Santander pay up to 5,000 Brazilian reals (about $1,300 USD) per day, while Banco do Brasil would have had to pay a fine of up to 20,000 Brazilian reals (approx. $5,400) per day.
Following the Federal court’s decision, Bitcoin Max legal representative Leonardo Ranna confirmed that the said accounts had been reopened.
The matter is, however, said to be far from over. The court’s decision in favor of the crypto exchange is “kind of injunction”, which had given Santander up to five days to restore the accounts.
As per Bitcoin Portal, a judge in a lower court (3rd Civil Court of Brasilia) had quashed an earlier request to have the accounts reopened. Plaintiff lawyers filed an appeal before a TJDFT judge who determined that closing the exchange’s accounts without prior notice violated consumer protection rules.
Reportedly, Banco do Brasil had not only arbitrarily closed Bitcoin Max’s accounts but had also blocked access to about 120,000 Brazilian reals belonging to the exchange.
Banco do Brasil appealed the injunction, but a second judge gave the bank 24 hours to reopen the account and make the funds accessible. As reported in the media, the bank risked paying a daily fine of 2,000 Brazilian reals if it failed to comply with the court order.
Agency probed major banks
The conflict between Brazil’s major banks and crypto brokerage firms came to the fore in September.
At the time, the country’s regulatory agency, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), said it was probing the conduct of six top banks in relation to complaints about the closure of crypto business bank accounts.
The antitrust regulator launched the probe after the Brazilian Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association (ABCB) formally complained on behalf of several crypto exchanges. Among the banks under investigation was Banco do Brasil and Banco Santander.
Most of the banks claim the restrictions and closure of accounts is informed by regulatory requirements and Anti Money Laundering (AML) concerns. CADE agreed with this assertion, but deemed it “reasonable for banks to apply restrictive measures a priori on a straight-line.”
In October, the agency asked ten cryptocurrency exchanges whose accounts had been closed to complete a questionnaire. Crypto firms had up to mid-October to respond.
Among other things, the crypto companies were to provide details on how the Brazilian business environment was as well as to clarify whether they could not open bank accounts or if a financial institution had closed an account previously in operation.
The reprieve for crypto exchanges comes a month after one of the largest brokerage firms in the country announced plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange, XDEX, which will offer Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Grupo XP, the leading financial conglomerate in Brazil, also seeks to offer crypto custodial solutions.