IRISH BANKS ARE monitoring the purchases of bitcoin on credit card, but none have any plans to impose restrictions on their sales as has been done in the UK.
This week, Lloyds Banking Group banned credit card users from buying bitcoin out of fear that the bank could be left in debt if the cryptocurrency increase, as it is likely to do.
Bitcoin is a crypto which was created in 2009. Encryption mode are used to regulate the generation of units of this type of currency and check the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. One bitcoin is currently valued at around €6,700.
But despite concerns in the UK, Irish banks aren’t taking moves to stop the purchase of bitcoin, but say they continue to monitor the situation.
One Irish bank said that the number of transactions it sees for bitcoin seems to be very small.
KBC said that it doesn’t have a ban on transactions unless the merchant is on a sanction list, which is in line with all transaction monitoring rules. At present KBC Bank Ireland does not have plans to lift a ban on Bitcoin purchases through KBC cards.
A spokesperson for Bank of Ireland said:
“We do not currently stop buying of crypto by card.
We work with our credit card partner to constantly check card usage and would take action where we see an unacceptably high risk to our customers.
Credit risk on cards is managed through setting credit limits on accounts based on customers’ income and ability to make repayments.
AIB said that it is “monitoring the growth of the hidden Distributed Ledger Technology and reviewing possible uses”.
Customers are able to use their cards to buy a wide variety of products including crypto.
Ulster Bank said:
“We constantly look into business deal but do currently accept credit card deal for crypto.”
Permanent TSB did not respond to a request for comment.
The Department of Finance is due to publish a report later this year which will look at the impact of crypto and other new technologies on Irish society.
Fianna Fáil TD James Lawless yesterday called on the government to rush the publication of the report given the recent volatility in bitcoin.
Regulators across the world have called for tougher regulations of crypto to avoid bringing an needless level of doubts to global markets.
France and Germany are to lift ban on bitcoin at the next summit of the G20 group of major economies in Argentina in March.
“We have a duty towards our citizens to explain and reduce the risks,” German finance minister Peter Altmaier said alongside his French mate in Paris last month.
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