Danske Bank has been ordered to close up in Estonia following another money laundering scandal. It is not the first time a major bank has been involved in money laundering and it will not be the last, which is all good news for crypto.
One of the most commonly spouted reasons that crypto is bad is that criminals use it for money laundering. But the bottom line is the US dollar is still the currency of choice for washing money, and banks are the vehicle. As more bank scams get unraveled it gives them less legitimacy and more to crypto, the decentralized way to conduct finance.
Danske Bank Ordered to Close
According to the BBC the Tallinn branch of Danske Bank has been ordered to close by October 19. The bank is under investigation in Denmark, Estonia, Britain and the US over around 200 billion Euros in spurious payments from Russia, ex-Soviet states and other countries. A large portion of this funny money has been found flowing through the Estonian branch.
Interim chief executive Jesper Nielsen said that the bank would comply and close branches in other countries as well;
“We acknowledge that the serious case of possible money-laundering in Estonia has had a negative impact on Estonian society and finds it best that Danske Bank discontinues its Estonian banking activities,”
Estonia’s financial regulator demanded Danske close its local branch and repay customer deposits within eight months. Head of the regulatory body, Kilvar Kessler, added;
“We have every right to put an end, once and for all, to this, as large-scale violations of the local rules have been committed, and this has dealt a serious blow to the reputation of the Estonian financial market.”
Thomas Borgen, CEO of Danske Bank, resigned in September last year following allegations of money laundering involving sums larger than the entire crypto market capitalization at the time. It is not the only high profile bank to be accused of something that crypto adversaries keep reiterating. Last month Fortune reported that Deutsche Bank was facing increasing scrutiny in the US over money laundering concerns. Morgan Stanley was also fined recently for failing to properly detect money laundering.
Short The Bankers
The news is bad for banks, good for crypto. Respected industry personality and founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital Assets, Anthony Pompliano, agreed with the sentiment tweeting ‘short the bankers’ yesterday;
Estonia just ordered the Danske Bank branch to close that was involved in one of the largest money laundering schemes in history.
The majority of criminals aren’t using Bitcoin to launder money, they’re using US dollars.
Long Bitcoin, Short the Bankers!
— Pomp (@APompliano) February 19, 2019
Banks are the undisputed heavyweight champions of laundering money. So much so that Bloomberg went to the effort of creating an infographic earlier this month to highlight the estimated $2 trillion that gets washed through banks every year;
Money laundering transactions are still as high as $2 trillion a year https://t.co/QQ6lAKlUDL
— Bloomberg (@business) February 3, 2019
This just makes any accusation about crypto being a vehicle for money laundering with its paltry $130 billion market cap simply ridiculous.
Image from Shutterstock
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