I have some unfortunate news for the bitcoin and crypto community. Without warning from Chase, my bank account was shut down “without reasoning” for withdrawing funds from Coinbase.
The reason for this article is to warn others, especially those that live in the USA to be aware of this situation.
A few days back, I tried to transfer money out of my Chase bank account to one of my external accounts, but the transaction was automatically cancelled. I’ve transferred money many times before without problems, so I thought it was weird to start with, but I also thought that Chase’s system could’ve been down for the day.
The next day, I attempted to transfer money once again, but the transaction was instantly cancelled again.
I decided to give Chase a call..
And to my surprise, Chase said that my account is being “restricted” and the customer support rep transferred me to another person in their team that could help me with the problem.
The other rep mentioned that my account has been closed “without reasoning”
I kept asking for a reason behind the closure and that I’ve been a long time customer of Chase. The rep said that, “We can shut down people’s account anytime without warning or reasoning.”
I knew talking to the rep still won’t help me get to the bottom of this, so the next day I decided to walk into Chase to speak with a banker who’s also a good friend of mine.
And the reasoning behind my account being closed is due to the fact that I’ve had a few “suspicious” transactions with Bitcoin-related activities. Chase doesn’t want to take any responsibility for any sort of Bitcoin risk such as money laundering and more.
After doing some more research through Google and other sources, I came across multiple discussions where Bitcoin and crypto investors experienced the same problem.
A few other examples
Here’s another thread on Reddit, where a user got his business account with Chase shut down for the exact same reason.
But it seems like Chase has been doing this for quite some time. If we run a deeper search, we can see that customers of Chase has been getting their account shut down for quite some time.
Here’s another thread dating back to 2014.
Doing more research, I came across this blog post on AskSebby (a personal finance site), that mentions the main reason for Chase closing bank accounts is due to Bitcoin transactions. You can view the post here.
Another detailed thread on Bitcoin Talk about this same exact problem can be found here.
Alternatives to Chase
It’s sad to see that big banks like Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo not adapting to Bitcoin and considering it as illegal activity, but it is understandable, which is why I’m not mad.
Instead, I’m hoping that others don’t get affected by this.
The best would be to sign up for a smaller local bank such as a Credit Union to prevent this from happening. I’ve spoke with a few credit unions over the phone and a few said that they would require documentation, but happy to work with me.
Here’s a list of additional resources related to this issue:
Bank of the West (Link)
Capital One (Link)
- Shutdown BitFloor’s accounts with approx $2.8mil USD check mailed out
- “It is Capital One’s policy not to do business with merchants who accept Bitcoin.”
- Many people on this forum (as well as others), myself included, have had their accounts closed by chase. Some did mention bitcoins, others didn’t. It’s usually the high volume of cash deposits or one-way international wires (i.e. if you receive alot of US deposits but send alot of foreign wires).
- Feds Seize money from MtGox Dwolla Accounts.
- Why can’t Dwolla send to MtGox?
- Dwolla Updates regarding Operating a business requiring FinCEN registration.
Internet Credit Union (Link)
- Located in Sanfrancisco, California, USA. Opened in 2013
- “taking a proactive pro-Bitcoin stance” Link to Reddit[/ur]
- Spoke at San Jose Bitcoin Conference in 2013, saying that the current banks, “suck, so we are going to build out own.” (Citation needed fo rthe video of this)
- Handled withdraws for BitFloor after Capitol One had shut down their account just sending a single check to Roman (site owner of BitFloor).
- Regulators start to spook IAFCU, they cancel pending deal with TradeHill after TradeHill already announced that accounts were be moved over from TradeHills unregulated system to IAFCU Government insured and regulated account.
- Blog Post from IAFCU, “Rocky Road is still one of my favorite flavors” discussing how they are suspending business with Corporate Bitcoin Clients. IAFCU Blog Link.
US Bank (Link)
How does Chase choose who to shut down?
I did a lot of research and asked around for an answer to this question. Since it seems like not everybody is getting their account shut down. The truth is that there isn’t a solid answer to it and the bankers can’t do anything about it.
Everything is done in the back office and usually any type of Coinbase transaction will trigger a red flag for them to review.
Moving forward, it is sad to see that big banks still won’t accept Bitcoin, but as I mentioned above, it is understandable. In life we deal with tons of problems and problems will always arise. We just need to find ways to think positive and move forward with another solution.
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