BTCxChange, one of Romania’s best bitcoin exchanges announced to users that company bank accounts were abruptly closed last week. On Monday, January 22nd, the company received a letter from Bucharest-based Idea Bank informing them of the closure of its bank accounts within 15 days. BTCxChange noted that this is the fourth bank account terminated for the company in the last 12 months.
Reaching now a tipping point, the company has determined not to seek any new bank relationships. The team decided some time back that should this happen again, the constant bank account changes and lack of a permanent stable solution prevent the company from developing its business with the momentum it needs.
Bank transfer closing timeline:
Fiat deposits and withdrawals will be operational until February 1st, users must withdraw their fiat balances (RON, EUR, USD) before this day. Going forward after February 1st, only bitcoin withdrawals will be possible. All remaining fiat balances after the February 1st date will be converted to bitcoin and credited to individual customer accounts.
Max Nicula, CEO BTCxChange left a lengthy declaration discussing the company’s path forward and his frustration with the banks’ unreliability, he wrote:
We will not be able to process fiat withdrawals since we will not have a bank account. This is an unusual situation for us, so please be prepared for withdrawals to take a bit longer than usual while we work on details around the bank accounts’ closure.
Our goal was always to develop a world-class trading platform. In order to increase the volumes substantially, some changes had to be made to the parameters of our system, mainly: fee reductions, API launch and substantial investments in marketing. All these actions require us to sacrifice short-term profit for long-term results. But having no trust in the long-term stability of our banking solutions makes it irrational to sacrifice the short-term profitability for uncertain gains in the future. Short-term profitability requires an opposite set of parameters: high fees, savings on marketing costs and restrictions to the market engine through API.
For some time, we are working on launching a new type of exchange, completely decentralized and censorship-resistant, without ties to the banking system. A product that in our view will be able to grow without friction from bureaucrats and will not be able to be stopped by persons who 1) have no understanding of the space and 2) have the power to sign papers that can stop a business.
For us, this situation is a good one because it gives us the push to concentrate on the projects that we want to launch for a long time but are constrained in time due to dealings with the banks.
For those who are questioning whether this situation is bad news for bitcoin, we can tell only one thing: it is precisely the belief in bitcoin and the crypto space in general that makes the decision of not looking for alternative banking solutions so easy for us. Our next step is to go dipper into the crypto economy, our current bitcoin-fiat exchange being exactly in the middle (between banking and crypto).
During the last 14 months from the moment, BTCxChange was relaunched under a new team and leadership, we have learned a lot about the current system. An archaic decision-making mechanism filled with incompetent people but with the power to stop businesses. The banking system looks like a dinosaur cannibalizing itself since the bank is no longer a service provider but a privilege that can be taken at any time. Who will become the winner, in the end, time will show, but from our point of view, the banking system starts decomposing and there are only 2 questions that matter: 1) how long this process will take and 2) how much bad smell will be produced in the process.
We encourage entrepreneurs to enter the crypto space, to look for opportunities to create added value, to count profit in crypto and to stay away from partnerships with the banking system. The crypto economy offers ample opportunities to conduct deterministic business and agreements, free of subjectivism and multiple interpretations, without shortsighted and counterproductive lawmaking. And the most important thing is, the opportunity to grow your business without obstacles, the only limit is your imagination and the processing power of the blockchain which will inevitably increase dramatically in the times ahead.
Smart Contracts introduced by Ethereum and other platforms offer a ripe sector for developers that are looking for a sector to apply their knowledge to. Surely these contracts will become part of the social construct. Entering this space now will make one of the first experts in a field that will surround us in the future.
I will end this message with thanks to all the customers that have used our services and hope to leave a positive impression behind. With some of you, we hope to interact in the future through new projects.
In Romania, those who need to make fiat-crypto conversions can still use one of the following services, localbitcoins.com and bitcoinromania.ro.
Alternatively, there are numerous bitcoin autotrading platforms such as the Bitcoin Loophole which provide an alternative to exchanges.
For all of Europe and the euro especially, Kraken, BL3p, Bitstamp, and others continue to provide these services.