Danske Bank has been ordered to close up in Estonia following another money laundering scandal. It is not the first time a major bank has actually been associated with money laundering and it will not be the last, which is all excellent news for crypto.
One of the most commonly touted reasons that crypto is bad is that lawbreakers use it for money laundering. But the bottom line is the United States dollar is still the currency of choice for washing money, and banks are the vehicle. As more bank scams get unwound it provides less legitimacy and more legitimacy to cryptocurrency, the decentralized way to carry out finance.
Danske Bank Ordered to Close
According to the BBC the Tallinn branch of Danske Bank has been ordered to close their doors by October 19. The bank is under investigation in Denmark, Estonia, Britain and the US for over around 200 billion Euros in spurious payments from Russia, ex-Soviet states and other countries. A large portion of this questionable money has actually been discovered streaming through the Estonian branch.
Interim chief executive Jesper Nielsen said that the bank would comply and close branches in other countries too;
“We acknowledge that the serious case of possible money-laundering in Estonia has had a negative impact on Estonian society and finds it best that Danske Bank discontinues its Estonian banking activities,”
Estonian regulators informed Danske Bank to close the Tallinn branch within eight months and return, in full, the deposits of its customers. It has to transfer or resell all client
contracts within that time frame or deal with a fine of EUR100,000, or about $113,000, a day.
Estonia’s financial regulator required Danske close its regional branch and repay consumer deposits within eight months. Head of the regulative body, Kilvar Kessler, included;
“We have every right to put an end, once and for all, to this, as large-scale violations of the local rules have been committed, and this has dealt a serious blow to the reputation of the Estonian financial market.”
Thomas Borgen, CEO of Danske Bank, resigned in September last year following accusations of money laundering including amounts larger than the whole crypto market capitalization at the time. It is not the just high profile bank to be implicated of something that crypto adversaries keep reiterating. Last month Fortune reported that Deutsche Bank was facing increasing examination in the US over money laundering concerns. Morgan Stanley was likewise fined recently for failing to detect money laundering.
Bankers Getting Shorted?
The news is bad for banks, helpful for crypto. Respected industry personality and creator and partner at Morgan Creek Digital Assets, Anthony Pompliano, agreed with the belief tweeting ‘short the lenders’ yesterday;
Estonia just ordered the Danske Bank branch to close that was involved in one of the largest money laundering schemes in history.
The majority of criminals aren’t using Bitcoin to launder money, they’re using US dollars.
Long Bitcoin, Short the Bankers!
— Pomp (@APompliano) February 19, 2019
Banks are the indisputable heavyweight champs of laundering money. A lot so that Bloomberg went to the effort of creating an infographic earlier this month to highlight the approximated $2 trillion that gets cleaned through banks every year;
Money laundering transactions are still as high as $2 trillion a year https://t.co/QQ6lAKlUDL
— Bloomberg (@business) February 3, 2019
This just makes any allegation about crypto being a vehicle for money laundering with its paltry $130 billion market cap simply absurd.
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