Norwegian Crypto Exchange Loses Court To Nordea Bank For Closing Its Accounts
According to E24, the Norwegian crypto exchange Bitmynt AS has lost a lawsuit against a large Scandinavian financial services company Nordea. The reason for the lawsuit was that Nordea closed the accounts of the Bitmynt exchange.
Exchange founder Sturle Sunde filed a lawsuit against Nordea back in December last year, when Nordea closed Bitmynt’s account due to concerns about inadequate anti-money laundering and terrorist financing risk.
“The court has globally examined the issue and has no doubt that bitcoin trading increases the risk of money laundering and transactions related to criminal activity, although bitcoin trading is now generally within the law,” says the Oslo District Court’s ruling..
In addition, according to a court decision based on the provisions of the Financial Contracts Act, “this risk became the objective reason why the bank terminated its relationship with the client.” Sunde said he was disappointed with the court’s decision and that the court’s verdict essentially bans the trading of bitcoins in Norway altogether. He also insists that the exchange did not violate any laws and plans to file an appeal..
The court was particularly critical of the exchange’s security measures, stressing that they were for the most part manually implemented by Sunde himself. According to the verdict, “he believes he knows his customers and has a flair to spot suspicious activity.” As a result, the court ruled that the security measures, consisting in Sunde’s intuition, contacts with clients and the use of wallet observers, were not effective enough to eliminate risks, and therefore did not reach a level that would be acceptable to the bank..
According to Sundé, the costs of the trial were significant – he spent 1 million Norwegian kroner ($ 124,000) on the proceedings. He also noted that he plans to raise money for the appeal through crowdfunding. When asked whether the court was worth that kind of money, he replied:
“Not at the moment, but I hope it ends.”.