In Finland the big chill factor just reached new heights as Prasos Oy, the 2012 founded cryptocurrency exchange and crypto wallet services provider, is facing a big freeze as a chill approaches from Finnish banks refusing to do business with Prasos Oy. The company is close being cut adrift, in freezing cold waters, full of ice bergs and hungry sharks! In fact the ‘Ice Dagger’ is one step away as most Finnish banks, according to Bloomberg reports, will no longer conduct business with them.
Anonymous Transactions are Fanning the Chill Wind
In 2017 the company’s reached $185 million in transaction volumes and the Finnish banks, without any kind of cryptocurrency regulations to fall back on, are concerned about being caught skating on thin ice as regards to current Finnish anti-money laundering laws. Again it’s the anonymous nature of cryptocurrency transactions that are fanning the chill wind with S-Bank, the OP Group, Saastopankki and Nordea Bank AB all freezing Prasos Oy’s accounts in 2017. This means they have to manage all clients’ transactions through one bank.
Saastopankki’s CEO, Tomi Narhinen had this to say:
“In most cases it’s practically impossible or at least very hard to do business with cryptocurrency dealers and exchanges, because it can be impossible to determine the origin of the funds.”
Henry Brade, Prasos’ CEO came back with:
The risk is that we’ll see our last bank account closed before we can get the next one opened would freeze our business.”
No Chance of a Thaw as the EU Takes a Closer Look
The European Union has not help matters by announcing in December 2017 that they would regulate more closely cryptocurrecny exchanges to protect banks against money laundering and tax evasion.
Brade also said:
“We’ve created identification practices, which we have taken into use in March, and they comply fully with anti-money laundering laws and regulations, even though authorities do not even require this from us as our business is not under regulatory obligations.”
One last point relates to the storage of 2,000 confiscated Bitcoins and the confusion between the Finnish authorities and the guidelines directed by the Treasury as reported by Cointelegraph in February 2018.