Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, has strongly criticized JPMorgan’s subsidiary, Chase UK, for its decision to prohibit customers in the United Kingdom from conducting debit card or wire transfers related to cryptocurrencies. Armstrong labeled the move as “totally inappropriate” and encouraged UK crypto holders to consider closing their accounts in response.
Urging UK Officials to Investigate
Armstrong called on UK officials, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Economic Secretary Andrew Griffith, to investigate whether Chase UK’s actions align with the country’s policy objectives. He expressed hope that a closer examination of the situation might lead to a reconsideration of Chase UK’s decision.
Chase UK’s Decision Citing Fraud Concerns
Chase UK confirmed on September 26 that it had decided to ban its customers from engaging in crypto-related transactions, citing a significant level of fraud within the crypto space. The bank stated that customers attempting such transactions would receive declined transaction notifications.
Coinbase, a major US-based cryptocurrency exchange, has actively pursued expansion in the United Kingdom, listing the country among the regions it supports, along with the United States, Europe, and Canada. In April 2023, Coinbase expressed its commitment to the UK and European markets.
Legal Challenges in the US
While Coinbase expands aggressively in the UK and Europe, it faces legal challenges in its home country. In June 2023, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Coinbase, alleging violations of securities laws.
The clash between traditional banking institutions and cryptocurrency-related services continues to be a point of contention as digital assets gain mainstream recognition.