Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Read this article for free.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Banks Freeze Out Bitcoin

With $40 million in investments, you’d think the bitcoin company Xapo would have an easy time finding a bank to hold all that money. But twice in the last year, banks have sent Xapo to the curb.

“Here’s a cashiers check for all your cash, thank you for your business,” Xapo CEO Wences Casares recalls a U.S. bank telling the company which helps people buy and store bitcoins.

Big U.S. banks are freezing out the bitcoin industry, making it hard for companies dealing in the cryptocurrency to open accounts to pay their employees, let alone to deposit dollars that they receive in exchange for bitcoins. Banks say there are serious hurdles to working with bitcoin entrepreneurs. At the top of the list: the anonymity of bitcoin transactions makes it hard to comply with money laundering regulations, which carry stiff penalties for violations.

What Is The Information?

Notebook b5103017ee163370a1667c9ce59ab0ef023875a17888105d26c185cadf31bb69

Daily news analysis

Every weeknight, we'll send you our reporters’ views on the day’s top tech news—distilled into one email.

Notes bb3aa5069205d702dda37fc71dc6f1c59df2310c4379304e9f1199f052af4884

Exclusive Articles

We broke it first. Receive original reporting, stories, and exclusives you won't read anywhere else from the largest newsroom in tech.

Conference calls c9e664e8b96ee347d3e92b8309938f268422b9db98cfabca5c826fbb75054b23

Conference calls

Go deep into areas like crypto and VC diversity—or get real-time analysis of breaking news—via conference calls with our reporters and other experts.

Events 499acedd16cffc41445edd76bfd302b2836c2a27419890f17130a6b10e2aa3df

Special Events

For no extra fee, subscribers get access to more than a dozen events yearly, from intimate dinners to larger gatherings with marquee speakers.

Access the best reporting on the tech industry read by tens of thousands of global executives.

Become a contributor

Share your views and find other subscribers by completing your profile. You’ll be listed in our contributor directory.

Org Charts

Access the only collection of tech company org charts. Our expanding database includes companies like Amazon, Snap, and Uber.

Slack community

Discuss topics and current events with our subscriber-only Slack group and share news about your company with other subscribers.

Share with your team

Subscribers can unlock any article and share it with friends and co-workers through a special share link.

Stay up to date on Silicon Valley

Sign up for Jessica Lessin’s (The Information’s CEO & Founder) free Saturday newsletter and also receive a complimentary week of our daily afternoon tech commentary email.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Recent Articles

Media

In Search for Profits, Cheddar and TYT Take Long View on Skinny Bundles

By Tom Dotan

Crypto

Meet the San Diego Bank That Handles Most of the Cryptocurrency Industry

By Alfred Lee

“If you’re looking from a bank's perspective, what’s the upside for us?” says Adam Shapiro, director at the Promontory Financial Group, a major bank consulting firm that has advised banks on bitcoin and other new banking technologies.