Three Australian cryptocurrency companies have all aired their complaints about being de-banked by AUSTRAC, the country’s financial intelligence agency, without any concrete explanations, during a Senate inquiry.
Nium, a global remittance provider, Bitcoin Babe, a small peer-to-peer crypto brokerage platform, and Aus Merchant, a crypto investment firm, have all attended a Senate inquiry to express their opinion about the recent incident.
The representatives of the crypto companies were speaking on a panel as part of the Senate probe into “Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre.”
The three companies are all registered to AUSTRAC, which means that they are all required to report their requirements to the regulatory body.
Banned and de-banked
“As of yesterday, I have been banned and de-banked from 91 banks and financial institutions. That’s 91-lifetime bans. No reasons given, no case-by-case assessments or discussions engaged and no recourse available,” Michaela Juric, founder of Bitcoin Babe, said.
Juric also said that her seven years in the crypto business were really challenging because of the banning and de-banking decisions that were thrown against her company. These are also some of the major reasons that prevented her company from expanding its services and client base.
Her company uses exchanges such as Local Bitcoins to facilitate trades in Australia, and according to her profile on Bitcoin Babe’s website, she has already conducted over 40,000 trades since 2014.
Tagged as a “terrorist”
Even with a respected image on cyberspace and with a high percentage of positive customer feedback, Juric said that some banks have tagged her as a “terrorist” because of her business’ nature.
“I’ve had banks go so far as report me as being like a terrorist on some databases, and that’s what stopped me from being able to get some of these services,” Juric said.
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