Image: REUTERS/BENOIT TESSIER

Local banking group FNB says bank accounts of cryptocurrency exchanges and related parties will be closed down.

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, our focus is on what this move means for local cryptocurrency players.

Listen to the latest:

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Richard de Sousa, senior partner at AltCoinTrader, a local cryptocurrency exchange.

The discussion begins with De Sousa giving an update of the relationship between the financial services sector and cryptocurrency industry.

De Sousa says this move has been a few months in the making. Though the local cryptocurrency industry has a good working relationship with the SA Reserve Bank, private banks have a right to deny or stop their banking services “to anyone without explanation”.

In addition to AltCoinTrader, the move affects cryptocurrency exchanges such as Luno and VALR.

De Sousa says local cryptocurrency exchanges have been discussing a way forward, and have formulated some alternatives but cannot share those as yet.

As things stand, Standard Bank and Nedbank seem to still be open to working with the digital currency players. However, De Sousa warns that global trends do raise some alarm about possible escalation of the situation. In some countries, entire banking industries are not friendly to cryptocurrency players and even have restrictions on private citizens transacting with such organisations.

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Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production