After years of court battles in Chile, a cryptocurrency exchange has managed to open a bank account in Bci, a financial institution that established a protocol to serve these businesses. The first exchange that opened a bank account with the institution was Buda, a local exchange, which satisfied the requirements of the bank in the mentioned protocol.
Cryptocurrency Exchanges Can Now Open Bank Accounts in Chile
On Oct. 28, Bci, a bank in Chile, announced that it had developed a protocol to allow cryptocurrency exchanges to open checking accounts with the institution. This marks a milestone for cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, which had been fighting for the right to use traditional banking services for years.
The protocol developed includes a series of requirements inspired by recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which include the fulfillment of compliance processes, traceability of transactions, prevention of money laundering, financing of terrorism, and audit reports from an outside company.
A spokesperson for the bank told the local newspaper Diario Financiero that this move would be beneficial for customers of the exchanges. The bank stated:
Our objective is to accompany their clients so that they can operate in this market within a framework of security and trust.
First Account Opened
The history of the battle between cryptocurrency exchanges and banks in Chile goes back to 2018, when Buda and Crypto MKT, two local cryptocurrency exchanges, started a court battle to be able to enjoy banking services after their accounts were closed. The legal battle continues to this day, as the exchanges declare that banks are abusing their power position to cripple the possible competition that alternate financial systems including cryptocurrency might pose for them.
Buda, which is one of the exchanges still embroiled in the mentioned judicial battle with other banks, was the first cryptocurrency exchange to open a checking account in Bci, after signing an agreement with the bank. This agreement also allows other exchanges to seek banking services with the institution, having to fulfill the requirements stipulated in the established procedure.
On this development, Buda CEO Guillermo Torrealba stated:
We are happy with this agreement and grateful for Banco Bci’s vision. Sooner rather than later, cryptocurrencies will be a fundamental part of banking and we want to help accelerate that moment.
In other countries of Latam, banks have been more open to offering cryptocurrency-related services, like Santander, which already has a cryptocurrency asset division and is planning to offer cryptocurrency services to its customers in Brasil.