Bitmynt crypto exchange loses case against account closure by Nordea Bank
Norwegian crypto exchange Bitmynt founder Sturle Sunde sued Nordea for closing their account
Sturle Sunde, the founder of Bitmynt Norwegian crypto exchange sued Nordea Bank for closing their cryptocurrency exchange account claiming anti-money laundering concerns. On 4th May 2018, as E24 reports the case got over-ruled by the court resulting in the conclusion of the case.
On December 2017, the Bank of Nordea closed down the account over suspicions of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing concerns which led to a court case by Sturle Sunde against the bank. This case prevented the crypto exchange registering with the Brønnøysund Register Centre that provide limited liability. The decision of the Oslo District Court is as follows;
The Court is, after a global assessment, [in] no doubt that the risk of money laundering and transactions related to criminal offenses is clearly elevated by Bitcoin trade, although Bitcoin trading is now also largely done [under] legitimate conditions.
Court ruling against Bitmynt
According to the court, “it clear that this risk constitutes an objective reason for the bank to deny customer relationships” connected to a provision of the Finance Contracts Act. The decision was a disappointment for Sunde and the verdict by the court “in practice” bans trading of Bitcoin throughout Norway. He wants to re-appeal the decision by the court as he believes the crypto exchange has not violated any laws.
According to Sunde, the expenditure for the case by the crypto exchange is close to 1 million NOK (124,000 USD). He is thinking of crowdsourcing to fund the appeal. He replied to a question whether the trial in court was worth the amount paid; “Until now, it has not been, but I hope that it will end.”
The court was concerned specially about the safety regulations of Bitmynt which was mostly done manually by Sundae himself. “He believes he knows the customer and has a stomach feeling that makes him recognize suspicious conditions.” As the court views the issue, there is a lack of risk mitigation at Bitmynt that would satisfy the requirements of the Nordea Bank. These include customer contact and the usage of Wallet Explorer as well.
Earlier in April 2018, several crypto exchanges in Chile sued some banks for defacto banning the crypto industry within the country through closure of accounts. On 25th April, Buda crypto exchange won an appeal against the anti-monopoly court of Chile leading to the temporary re-opening of accounts in the state bank Banco del Estado de Chile and Itau Corpbanca.