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HSBC suspends pensioner’s transaction to buy Bitcoin; flags it ‘suspicious’

Namrata Shukla



HSBC suspends pensioner's transaction to buy Bitcoin, flags it 'suspicious'
Source: Pixabay

The cryptoverse is relentlessly working towards adoption around the world, with banks expected to play a major role in furthering the cause. However, HSBC recently suspended payments from a couple’s account after they tried purchasing Bitcoin online.

According to Bitcoin News, the husband tried to get Bitcoin online to buy medical cannabis for his 70-year-old wife. This is not the first instance where HSBC has questioned a customer’s activity with regards to Bitcoin however, despite banks becoming more flexible as cryptocurrency transactions become more popular. Tony Hetherington, a Financial Mail investigator, was informed by one of the bank’s customers that,

“I tried to buy Bitcoin using my online account with First Direct, which is part of HSBC. Not only was the transaction declined, but the bank froze all my online payments and insisted I had to phone them instead. I was then told I could make online payments again, but only to previously existing accounts.”

The bank justified its actions by claiming that the dealer through which the old man and his sick wife attempted to buy medical cannabis only accepted Bitcoin as payment, which was flagged suspicious by the bank’s system. However, when they tried to buy Bitcoin using a different reason, the bank rejected it again, calling it customer protection.

According to the Financial Mail investigator, the bank wanted to escape the embarrassment.

He argued that the bank would have felt that it was acting as a money launderer, even though it was a lawful transaction. The bank would have faced “humiliation” if the drugs had been stopped in the post, which would have resulted in the bank having to admit its approval of the transaction to police officials.

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Namrata is a full-time journalist and is interested in covering everything under the sun, with a special focus on the crypto market.


SEC delays VanEck Bitcoin ETF decision days after delaying Bitwise proposed rule change





SEC delays VanEck Bitcoin ETF decision days after delaying the Bitwise proposed rule change
Source: Unsplash

The Securities and Commission Exchange [SEC] has yet again delayed another Bitcoin ETF. This time around, the commission has decided to delay the VanEck Soldix Bitcoin ETF, one of the most awaited exchange-traded funds in the cryptocurrency community.

In the document released today, the exchange has asked for more comments on the proposed rule change and has also asked for further information on queries related to the exchange-traded fund. The commission stated that it has received 25 comments on the proposed rule change so far.  It stated,

“On January 30, 2019, Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. […] filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, […] a proposed rule change to list and trade shares of SolidX Bitcoin Shares issued by the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust […] The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on February 20, 2019.”

It further stated

“On March 29, 2019, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act, the commission designated a longer period within which to approve the proposed rule change, disapprove the proposed rule change, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change.”

Notably, the main concerns of the commission continue to be market manipulation and the measure taken by the platform to protect its investors. The commission is currently seeking comments on 14 queries pertaining to the VanEck Bitcoin ETF.

This includes the views of the ‘commenters’ on whether the exchange has entered “into a surveillance-sharing agreement with a regulated market of significant size related to bitcoin?”, the relationship between the Bitcoin futures markets and the Bitcoin spot market, with the focus being price formation, the relationship between the Bitcoin futures market and the proposed Bitcoin ETF, and the commenters’ views “of the Exchange’s assertions that bitcoin is arguably less susceptible to manipulation than other commodities that underlie ETPs”.

Gabor Gurbacs, Director of Digital Assets Strategy with VanEck said on Twitter,

“The VanEck SolidX #Bitcoin #ETF decision has been postponed by the SEC. We continue the hard work towards better-regulated, safer and more liquid digital assets markets. Bitcoin is too big to ignore. Vires in numeris!”

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