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Australia Bank Bans Payments To Binance and Crypto Exchanges

In what can be considered a major blow to the broader digital currency ecosystem, WestPac, Australia’s oldest bank has announced its plans to block transactions to and from Binance. As contained in its Press Release detailing the plans, WestPac said the move is primarily engineered to protect investors from all forms of scams. 

In justifying its position, the bank, considered to be crypto friendly, said it discovered that accounts tied to investments are predisposed to scams and that one third of all payment transactions made are sent directly to crypto exchanges. This reason accounts for why it said it is starting the account blockchain as a trial.

“Digital exchanges have a legitimate role to play in the financial ecosystem. But since the rise of digital currency, we’ve noticed that scammers are increasingly using overseas exchanges,” said Westpac Group Executive of Customer Services and Technology, Scott Collary, “Often our customers only discover they’ve been scammed after the money has left the country, making recovery extremely difficult.”

Collary said the estimates made by the bank is that the move will save its customers millions of dollars through the security measures.

Impact on Exchanges in Australia

Australia has always been tagged as a nation that is crypto friendly, and the nation also serves as a hotbed for cybercriminals looking for who to target. 

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While there have been warnings from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) on fraudulent activities, the measures from WestPac now imply a more ingrained and coordinated effort to stem exploitation from the masses.

The bank said its securities team detects as many as 60% of all attempted scams and that it is exploring the upgrade of its systems so as to bolster these capabilities in the near future.

For exchanges, this can be a significant setback for their operations as more banks may choose to trail the footsteps of WestPac. Binance has had a strain with ASIC in the past and this comes off as a major caution for the exchange and other key crypto service providers in the country to re-evaluate their business approaches in order to stay afloat moving forward.