Crypto exchange Buda sees Colombian accounts shut down

The South American cryptocurrency exchange Buda is one of three exchanges that has had a tough run with banks in Chile. The exchange, along with CryptoMarket and Orionx, were shut out of banks in the country until a judge ordered a temporary injunction pending the outcome of an ongoing lawsuit. The courts ordered the banks to extend service to the exchanges, which certainly offered a little bit of comfort to the firms. However, according to media outlet Diario Bitcoin (in Spanish), Buda now has to contend with another dilemma, this one out of Colombia.

The Spanish news outlet reported on an email sent by Buda to its clients, explaining that the banks suddenly and without warning closed the exchanges accounts. The unexpected closure has resulted in a number of issues, including delays in withdrawals. Buda said in the email that it anticipates having the issues resolved by June 13.

Despite the fact that users are experiencing difficulty accessing their funds, Buda reassured its users in the email that their funds are safe, and that they don’t need to worry.

Alejandro Beltran, the CEO for Buda’s operations in Colombia, confirmed the closure to a local cryptocurrency website, Cripto247. He added that the banks involved are BBVA, Bancolombia and Davivienda.

According to Beltran, the move comes following a letter that was distributed by the Colombian financial control officer in February. That letter reportedly told banks that they were not authorized to work with companies in the cryptocurrency industry. However, the letter has been taken by some, including Beltram, to be a suggestion and not founded in actual law.

The timing of the closure is a little odd. The same day that the accounts were closed, a debate was being held by the Colombian Senate regarding blockchains and cryptocurrencies. During the debate, Antonio Navarro Wolff of the country’s Green Alliance party predicted that the blockchain “could change the lives of Colombians.”

Wolff further indicated that, “The State assumed the task of advising about the risks of operations with cryptocurrencies but did not take actions to prevent or hinder these operations.” He also identified the banks’ actions as stifling to innovation and the free development of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, adding that they didn’t understand the benefits crypto could bring to Colombia over the medium and long term.

Buda is still operating, offering cryptocurrency investing options in Chile, Colombia, Peru and, as of the end of May, Argentina. The exchange supports Bitcoin BCH (also known as Bitcoin Cash, the original Bitcoin), stored value token Segwit Coin BTC (also inaccurately referred to as Bitcoin BTC by some since it’s a fork off of the original Bitcoin chain) and a smart contract-focused token, Ethereum.  As of last week, it also now supports Litecoin (clone of Bitcoin that does not scale and has less smart contract features).

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