Australian Senator Requests Inquiry into Banks’ Bitcoin Bans

An Australian Senator has requested the country’s competition overseer to start an inquiry into the banks’ recent crackdown on Bitcoin companies.

Senator Matthew Canavan, who was also part of the recent Senate Committee studying Bitcoin technology, doubted the coordinated approach of banks while shutting down the accounts of around 17 Bitcoin companies. He further implied that the banks are taking an unethical route to clamp down potentially competitive companies.

“The actions by the banks,” he wrote, “would appear to directly engage competition in the financial services industry as it stands now – and, by effectively nipping in the bud the growth of potential competitors, is likely to substantially reduce the potential for future competition to the detriment of consumers in the future.”

‘The reasons for the apparently co-ordinated nature of the decisions by the major banks should also be investigated,’ he added.

According to a report of The Australian Financial Review (AFR), the country’s competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), is now preparing to launch an inquiry into the matter. However, no official confirmation could be obtained at the time of writing.

The Background Story

Just a few days back, the Australia’s leading banking firms, including Westpac and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, had shutdown the Bitcoin companies’ accounts without providing any concrete explanation. Chairman of the Bitcoin advocacy group, the Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association, Ron Tucker had openly voiced his opinion against the unethical crackdown.

NewsBTC had also smelled a rat in the coordinated approach of the banks, considering how both Westpac and Commonwealth Banks of Australia have invested in Bitcoin companies to launch their own private ventures.

No banks could be approached for comments at the time of writing.

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