UniCredit ordered to pay a $144M fine

Photo - UniCredit ordered to pay a $144M fine
The second-largest bank in Italy is facing a $144 million fine after losing a case against a crypto mining company Bitminer Factory.
The financial establishment wrongfully shut down accounts of crypto miners which proceeded to a lawsuit in the court of Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The dispute lasted for a two-year period and the lawsuit was filed by the subsidiary of the Italian crypto mining company Bitminer Factory, which is a global blockchain technology contractor that provides a service for mining investments at secure locations around the world. The affected branch was located in Bosnia and Herzegovina because of more favourable electricity costs, as Proof-of-Work mining requires large amounts of electricity. The bank met claims of improperly closing accounts that belonged to the company, which proclaims to be Italy’s “first and largest mining farm.” The court accepted the claim and ordered UniCredit to pay out $144 million to the affected company. The mentioned closed accounts were operated via UniCredit Bank Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After authorizing the company’s multiple requests for bitcoin withdrawals, the bank later began to reject them, claiming an “inability to do business with digital currency suppliers and exchange platforms.” In its defense, the bank said that it does not proceed with operations when it comes to digital currency providers and exchange platforms, which is a stance numerous banks are taking. Although in the court proceedings, the bank had failed to deliver evidence of any documented policies prohibiting business transactions with bitcoin traders. As of now, the bank had supposedly filed an appeal against the court’s verdict, claiming that the matter “is not definitive, binding, nor enforceable.” UniCredit is not the only bank that faced a negative reaction from the crypto community. There have been other instances where banks have been problematic when it comes to accounts that belong to crypto owners. As an example, in 2021 HSBC blocked digital asset transactions in the UK. Yet many banks are revising their anti-crypto policies in an attempt to merge with blockchain technology.