- Chase Bank will no longer authorize crypto payments.
- The policy change was made to safeguard customers.
- Less than half of major UK banks are crypto-friendly.
The UK government has expressed its ambitions to establish the country as a global crypto hub by embracing digital assets and enacting policies to support cryptocurrency innovation. However, the actions of several firms have failed to reflect the government’s stance, including a recent decision by JPMorgan-owned Chase Bank to ban cryptocurrency payments.
This policy change has been met with pushback from the crypto community, but Chase Bank customers with crypto interests will soon be forced to bank elsewhere.
Chase Bank Bans Crypto Payments
Chase Bank released a notice of the ban stating that customers with crypto interests cannot make digital asset payments after October. The bank recommended that affected users switch to alternative banking providers.
“From 16 October 2023, if we think you’re making a payment related to crypto assets, we’ll decline it. If you’d still like to invest in crypto assets, you can try using a different bank or provider instead”, the Chase Bank notice read. Chase Bank justified the ban by claiming the policy change intended to keep users safe from digital asset fraud and scams.
Responding to the news, BTC_Archive ignited a debate, emphasizing crypto’s purported mission to do away with banks, stating, “No probs. Bitcoin will make you obsolete.”
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong quickly made his opinion known, calling the ban “Totally inappropriate behavior” on the part of Chase Bank. Seeking retribution, Armstrong called upon Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Treasury Secretary Andy Griffith, stating that the ban undermines government policy.
Armstrong’s criticism of Chase Bank highlights a broader trend of resistance from UK banks when embracing cryptocurrencies, despite the government’s ambitions.
Less Than Half of UK Banks Are Crypto-Friendly
Research conducted by comparison website Finder.com showed less than half of UK banks are crypto-friendly, which they defined as meeting at least one of the following three criteria: enabling debit card crypto purchases, allowing payments to a crypto exchange, and permitting deposits from crypto sources.
The major UK banks identified by Finder.com as crypto-friendly were Revolut, Monzo, Nationwide, Barclays, Lloyds, the Bank of Scotland, Nat West, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. However, based on the UK banking market having 18 major providers, the percentage of crypto-friendly banks is at a paltry 44%.
On the Flipside
- Former Financial Conduct Authority chair Charles Randell claimed the regulator faces political pressure to greenlight crypto firms, indicating an aggressive push for crypto adoption by the UK government.
- Chase Bank’s crypto payment ban reveals the limitations of government policy, suggesting the UK’s crypto hub goals may be more political rhetoric than an achievable reality.
- JPMorgan has embraced cryptocurrency, including trademarking a proprietary digital asset wallet, making the Chase Bank crypto payment ban somewhat perplexing.
Why This Matters
Resistance from leading banks to participate in the crypto revolution indicates that significant obstacles remain for the UK to become a global leader in cryptocurrency adoption.
Learn more about Bybit’s withdrawal from the UK market here:
Bybit Suspends UK Activity in Response to FCA’s New Rules
Find out about Ben Armstrong’s run-in with the law here:
BitBoy Put Behind Bars on Partner Assault Charge