Australian cryptocurrency traders are running into problems depositing money, with at least one local exchange freezing “all forms of AUD deposits” until 2018.
Hundreds of traders have taken to social media and Reddit since Christmas to raise concerns about the apparent freezes, which one Twitter user linked to actions by Australia’s big four banks.
However, there is uncertainty over the extent of any crackdown by banks on cryptocurrency trading.
The problems coincided with ongoing high levels of interest in cryptocurrency trading as well as a sharp drop in the value of Bitcoin.
Australian crypto exchange CoinSpot announced a “temporary restriction” on AUD deposits before Christmas, and has now indicated the restrictions “will remain in effect until at least the first week of the new year.”
The exchange attributed the issue to its “banking partner”.
“We assure you we are just as unhappy with the situation as you but unfortunately Australian banks have been so far unwilling to work with the digital currency industry which leads to frequent account closures and strict limits on accounts whilst they remain operational, in effect debanking our industry,” CoinSpot said in a statement.
“We will continue to work on establishing a relationship with a banking partner so we can resume accepting AUD deposits as soon as possible.”
Fellow Australian exchange BTC Markets shut AUD deposits via Australian payments gateway POLi on December 22, noting later the deposit method was being “reviewed”.
It advised users to deposit funds via BPAY instead.
There were also some issues reported with BPAY transactions, however they appeared to be the result of Australian public holidays and large volumes.
One iTnews reader said he had been notified that EFT for AUD was no longer possible on his chosen service due to “new restrictions imposed by certain US intermediary banks that have decided to stop providing their support to trades related to cryptocurrencies”.
The issue with intermediary banks refusing to process transactions to crypto exchanges was common throughout 2017, and may be unrelated to this current batch of AUD processing problems.