FirstRand Bank (FNB), one of South Africa's largest banks, has sent a letter to the crypto exchanges it serves to communicate them its intention to close their accounts, local publication MyBroadband has reported.
The bank has reportedly contacted all the crypto trading platforms that have an account with it, including Luno, ICE3X and VALR.
The affected exchanges have until the end of March 2020 to find alternatives to store their funds.
The bank claims its decision is the result of the regulatory uncertainty in the country. The letter sent by the bank reads as follows:
"FirstRand Bank has been considering its risk appetite in respect of virtual currencies and virtual currency exchanges for some time. Within this context the bank has taken the decision to discontinue the provision of banking services to virtual currency exchanges and/or entities dealing/trading in virtual currency. Future regulatory clarity may cause us to revise our decision."
Marius Reitz, general manager of Luno Africa, one of the affected trading platforms, has said they are not worried about the bank's decision, as there are other alternatives.
Just as a comparison, the situation is significantly different in Malta, the first EU country to enact comprehensive legal framework in the sphere of blockchain tech and digital assets. As a result, popular and reliable crypto exchanges such as Gozo.pro can legally provide their services.
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