Bitmynt AS has suffered a major blow after losing a lawsuit suing Nordea Bank AB over termination of banking services. The Norwegian exchange sued the bank last year after the suspension of its account over money laundering claims and nefarious use.
Bitmynt AS vs. Nordea
Norwegian secret police had uncovered a syndicate whereby drug dealers were using the exchange as a payment settlement platform. The incidence forced Nordea bank to terminate all banking services offered to the exchange. The move also led to the suspension of its banking account.
Bitmynt AS Founder, Sturle Sunde, denied the allegations. Now, he is suing the bank over ‘illegal’ closure of the banking account.
Oslo District Court Judge, Elisabeth Jordan Ramstad, reiterated that the bank’s decision to suspend the account was justified. Additionally, the remarks follow claims that the crypto exchange allowed account holders to use cryptocurrencies to pay for illegal drugs.
The judge also took note of the fact that the exchange could have been laundering money given the lack of cryptocurrency regulation in the country. In her ruling, Judge Ramstad reiterated that Nordea Bank could not be held liable for denying banking service to a customer supporting transactions with anonymous accounting parties.
Sunde, in defense of Bitmynt AS, has always insisted that bitcoin transactions are not wholly untraceable as claimed. According to the executive, research could lead to the identity of account holders.
“I think the whole sentence is fun. It seems that the judge has skipped the points in the Money Laundering Act, which states that the bank will conduct transactions, including those suspicious, as long as they know the identity of the customer and the purpose of the transaction,” said Sunde.
Nordea’s defense argues that Bitmynt AS deals in a business with no regulations or definitions under Norway law. Sunde has since announced plans to appeal the court ruling. He claims that if the order could violate the Financial Agreement Act, the Competition Act and the Money Laundering Act.
The ruling in Norway paints a clear picture of growing concerns that some illegal activities are receiving cryptocurrency funding. There has been increasing concerns that virtual currencies are being used to finance illegal activities such as terrorism as well as for money laundering purposes.