Bank Shutout Forces Major Polish Crypto Exchange to Move to Malta
Bitbay, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in Poland, has decided to suspend its activities in the country as banks will no longer cooperate with the company, the exchange announced May 29. The exchange will instead be conducted by a new supplier in the jurisdiction of the Republic of Malta, where local laws are more crypto-friendly.
Bitbay states that their business in Poland is contingent upon cooperation with national banks, but the last Polish bank ready to provide services to the exchange decided to cease its business with the exchange at the end May.
Bitbay will terminate the user contract to provide services, observing a notice period of one month which expires on September 17. After May 31, users will no longer be able to access their accounts in Polish złotys (PLN), while all other functions of the exchange will be active. Following the notice period, that is after September 17, users will only be able to withdraw funds. As of that date all trading activities on the exchange in Poland will be suspended.
According to the press release, users will be able to create a new account once BitBay resumes operations in Malta. The exchange will be conducted by a new supplier, but will use the bitbay.net domain name and BitBay trademark.
Bitbay’s relocation comes amid a wake of toughening policy from the Polish government toward cryptocurrencies. Though Poland officially recognizes digital currency mining and trading, the government’s overall stance in regards to crypto has become more critical in recent months.
In the beginning of May, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) placed a tender order of around $173,000 to plan and conduct a social media campaign focused on the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, pyramid schemes, and forex trading. In February, the Central bank of Poland paid about $25,000 to produce an anti-crypto video in collaboration with Polish YouTube partner network Gamellon, Google Ireland Limited, and Facebook Ireland Limited.
BitBay currently trades 29 different digital assets and at press time has a market capitalization of $9,270,725.