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Within the traditional financial landscape, Bank of America, one of the most prominent U.S. banking institutions, finds itself under the spotlight following allegations of closing client accounts linked to cryptocurrency transactions.
It started when Muneeb Ali, co-creator of Bitcoin’s layer-2 platform Stacks, asserted that BoA closed his personal account without offering a reason. Ali believes this closure stemmed from his Coinbase transactions related to buying and selling Bitcoin:
So @BankofAmerica just closed my personal bank account that I’ve used for 15 years. No reason given.
Real reason? I do Coinbase transactions through this account for Bitcoin.
This is a war on Bitcoin & crypto. Please RT to warn others. We won’t stay silent.
— muneeb.btc (@muneeb) July 12, 2023
The controversy was further pressed on by Brian Armstrong, the CEO of major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
Armstrong, who boasts a follower count of over 1.2 million on Twitter, conducted a poll querying if Coinbase customers, who also bank with BoA, had their accounts closed due to interactions with his exchange. This poll followed a series of Twitter rumors about abrupt account closures at BoA, with conjecture indicating a possible correlation to cryptocurrency dealings.
— Brian Armstrong 🛡️ (@brian_armstrong) July 13, 2023
Out of 13,746 respondents at the time of writing, around 1,200 (approximately 9%) confirmed their accounts had been closed. Meanwhile, 19.3% of participants refuted such an occurrence. The remaining respondents abstained from voting, preferring to monitor the results instead.
Ali called it “Operation Choke Point 2.0,” stating that legal action could be in the near future.
Operation Chokepoint comes from Nic Carter’s podcast What Bitcoin Did. Carter stated, “Certain officials in the Biden administration that are working together with specific regulators, in particular, bank regulators to marginalize the Bitcoin and crypto industry in the US as a reaction to FTX […] Their preferred means of doing that, it’s a high leveraged tactic, is to deputize the banks to get the banks to do their dirty business for them, saying ‘don’t deal with crypto companies, don’t bank them:’”
“They think: Crypto is out of control, and we need to do something about that.”
Bank of America has yet to comment on these allegations or the growing unrest among its customers who use crypto