Merrill Lynch closed access to GBTC for its clients

The decision to close the GBTC for new transactions was dictated by concerns related to the fitness and viability of the standards of this product
04 January 2018   1398

Merrill Lynch, a large US bank that was integrated into the Bank of America several years ago, banned its customers and consultants who carry out transactions on their behalf to buy bitcoin through the Grayscale Investment Trust. This is reported by the WSJ. Earlier, Merrill Lynch refused to provide customers with access to bitcoin futures.

Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust or GBTC is a trust fund operating exclusively with bitcoin, the yield of which is determined by the indicators of the crypto currency. It was created as a tool for traditional investors wishing to earn on the growth rate of bitcoin.

In Merrill Lynch, there is no consensus on the latest decision of the bank's management. Some consultants complain that they miss the opportunity to trade, which their clients are actively interested in.

Others argue that restricting access to bitcoin will help protect investors from excessive risks.

In October last year, analysts at Merrill Lynch said that the real cost of bitcoin can not be estimated.

Israeli BTC Investors to Face Catch 22

They need to pay taxes from Bitcoin investing in order to avoid their property arrest, but banks don't take their money due to AML issues
06 August 2019   142

Bitcoin investors in Israel are faced with the impossibility of paying taxes, as local banks refuse to accept funds received from the sale of cryptocurrencies because of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. About this writes the local edition of Haaretz on August 6.

Bitcoin is not recognized as a currency in Israel, therefore, individuals must pay 25% of the income from cryptocurrency trading to the treasury, and legal entities - 47%.

Investor Ron Gross told the publication that he acquired bitcoins in 2011 and reported his income to the tax office. In 2017, the bank that served Gross began to refuse to accept funds received from the sale of bitcoins. The investor met with representatives of the bank to demonstrate to them a 70-page history of bitcoin transactions as confirmation of the origin of the funds, but failed to convince them.

The tax authority is aware of the problem, but they say the ball isn’t in their courts. I’ve tried working with almost all the banks, but the minute they hear the word ‘Bitcoin’ they freeze up.
 

Ron Gross

Bitcoin investor from Israel

 

Since Gross was unable to pay taxes on time, his bank account, home, and even scooters were arrested. According to the investor, the tax authorities know about the problem, but can do nothing.

According to Haaretz, the tax office is aware of $ 86 million in unpaid taxes on income from cryptocurrency trading. It is possible that the real amount may be significantly higher.

Roy Arav, another Bitcoin investor, kept the proceeds from trading Bitcoin in an account with Israeli bank Discount under the control of the Bit2C exchange. The bank refuses to transfer money to Arava’s personal account under the pretext that its politicians forbid it to transfer funds related to virtual assets to client accounts due to the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Arav also could not pay taxes and was forced to sue the bank. According to the investor, the authorities entered his position and granted him a deferral of time for the consideration of the claim.