An extraordinary decision involving the global payments network SWIFT could have widespread implications for cryptocurrencies.
Asia Markets may disclose that banks, including Signature Bank of New York, will no longer process fiat currency transfers to cryptocurrency exchanges worth less than US$100,000 via the SWIFT network, effective February 1, 2023 .
The measure will prevent access to cryptocurrencies to thousands of potential customers.
One of the first crypto giants to notify users of the development this weekend has been the world’s largest exchange, Binance.
“The banking partner servicing your account has advised that they can no longer process SWIFT fiat (USD) transactions for persons less than $100,000 USD as of February 1, 2023. This is the case for all of their exchange customers. of encryption.” Binance said.
“Please note that until we can find an alternative solution, you may not be able to use your bank account to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with USD through SWIFT with a value of less than $100,000 USD.”
UPDATE: Binance Statement
In a statement to Asia Markets, Binance has confirmed at this stage that only Signature Bank clients will be affected by the move.
Here is the statement:
“One of our trustee banking partners, Signature Bank, has reported that it will no longer support its cryptocurrency exchange clients with buy and sell amounts less than $100,000 USD starting February 1, 2023. This is the case for all your cryptocurrencies. exchange customers.
“As a result, some individual users will not be able to use SWIFT bank transfers to buy or sell cryptocurrency with/for USD in amounts less than $100,000 USD.
Signature Bank announced last week that it was in the process of reducing its exposure to cryptocurrencies.
Growing concerns about limiting access to cryptocurrencies
Although SWIFT (an acronym for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is the world’s largest financial network, facilitating trillions of dollars in international currency transactions every day, it is a somewhat secretive cooperative based in Belgium.
SWIFT made headlines after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine last year, when the United States and its allies cut Russia off from the grid.
Such was the importance of isolating Russia from the world’s most important financial network that the French finance minister described the move as a “financial nuclear option.”
Why the banks involved in preventing SWIFT transfers have moved to trigger it could become a “cryptocurrency nuclear option” for millions of people who do not have the minimum of US$100,000 currently remains a mystery.
However, one theory is that it could be an introduction to the ECB’s central bank digital currency trial, due to start this year, with a full rollout proposed for 2026.
A recent Capitalist Exploits Insider newsletter from Hedge Fund veteran Chris MacIntosh provided a summary of the ECB’s proposed restrictions on digital currency movements.
We note that the ideas in the screenshot below are only proposals from the ECB and its members. None have been formalized.
“I would say to hell with all the chances that they manage to implement this all over the world. The world is rapidly bifurcating as promised, and with this division comes competition. We are in a war that is being fought on all fronts, one of which is financial,” MacIntosh said in the note to subscribers.
“The fact is that we have a world working towards more decentralization (people moving out of cities, for example), secessionist movements worldwide, and not to mention blockchain technology and various other decentralized networks. All this is happening while the man from Davos is trying to turn us into ‘smart cities’, digital currencies, etc.
You can read more from Chris MacIntosh on this topic in the Capitalist Exploits Insider newsletter here.