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Banks of Hong Kong continue to close accounts of cryptocurrency companies


Banks of Hong Kong complicate the life of companies associated with Bitcoin. According to recent reports, players of the banking market refuse to cryptocurrency companies to open accounts, freeze existing accounts and delay any processes without any valid reasons. "Over the past two or three months, we have tripled our customer base," explains Thomas Glucksmann of Gatecoin. "The price of Bitcoin was growing, the amount of money that customers invested increased - banks could not choose the worst time that put us in the wheel."

Glucksmann has in mind the unexpected move by Hang Seng Bank this fall, when the financial institution decided to temporarily freeze the accounts of the company. Gatecoin - the exchange of cryptocurrencies for the fiat currencies, located in Hong Kong. 

"It was a major disruption to our business,"
Mr. Glucksmann recounts.

Bitspark, a Hong Kong-based remittance company, also had trouble with bank accounts. Founder George Harrap emphasized, "Banking is a prized commodity in the Bitcoin space." Like other Bitcoiners in Hong Kong, they have had to turn to Europe for relief.

"The few that do have bank accounts are trying to be as cautious as possible," Hong Kong Bitcoin Association president Leo Weese said. "But ironically by being cautious they also raise red flags with banks. There's pretty much no way around that minefield without eventually having the account shut down."

Bitcoiners in Hong Kong believe the city has become openly hostile to the world's most popular cryptocurrency, and that the region's reputation for being business-friendly is at stake.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority "dismissed claims that a high number of businesses failed to open bank accounts," the article insists. "A spokesman said that the average account opening rejection rate was below 5 percent per month." 

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