Lloyds Bank bans Bitcoin purchases by credit card customers

B-b-b.. is that the sound of a bubble bursting?

By Kat Hall

Posted in Policy, 5th February 2018 15:15 GMT

Lloyds bank has stopped credit card customers from buying bitcoin, amid concerns of a credit risk surrounding the cryptocurrency's rapidly falling value.

Coming into effect today, the ban applies to Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA.

The currency has grown exponentially in the last year, peaking at $20,000 (£14,465) in December 2017. However, since then its value has rapidly decreased to about $8,000 (£5,700).

Banks are also increasingly concerned about the use of Bitcoin purchases by miscreants, fraudsters and money launderers.

A spokeswoman for UK-based Lloyds said: “Across Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA, we do not accept credit card transactions involving the purchase of cryptocurrencies.”

Lloyds is in the process of eliminating 1,000 jobs across the group.

The banking group is the first in the UK to ban users from buying Bitcoin, with an increasing number of US credit-card companies and banks having halted the purchase of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on credit cards last week.

JPMorgan enacted the ban on Saturday, with a company spokeswoman telling Bloomberg it did not want the credit risk associated with the transactions.

Bank of America and Citigroup have also said they are halting purchases.

Last month, Facebook banned ads for cryptocurrencies on suspicion that plenty of them will be placed by scammers.

Online gaming marketplace Steam also stopped accepting bitcoin as a payment method at the end of last year, citing its “high fees and volatility. ®

Bootnote

Lloyds customers can still buy on debit, if they have the appetite. Like, er, this guy....

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