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The Court for the Defense of Free Competition of Chile (Tribunal de Defensa de la Libre Competencia de Chile – TDLC) decreed that the banks BBVA, Security, Bice, Banco Internacional and BancoEstado must pay 1.2 million Chilean pesos in compensation to the crypto exchanges Buda.com and CryptoMKT after wrongfully closing their accounts.
Courts In Favor Of Crypto Exchanges
The information was corroborated by Chile’s national press on Aug. 14, explaining that the TDLC imposed a payment fee of 100,000 Chilean pesos on each bank as compensation to the crypto exchanges for the ongoing judicial process. The compensation will total 1.2 million pesos, equivalent to 1,800 US dollars.
The CEO of Buda, Guillermo Torrealba, specified that the payment imposed by the TDLC would go towards attorneys fees and tariffs. He also stated that the trial “has a long way to go,” since he is at the stage of answering the lawsuit:
“We are just at the stage of the banks response to the lawsuit. Then will come the presentation of evidence, and the evaluation of the same by the TDLC, to finally be able to dictate sentence. This sentence can also be appealed before the Supreme Court, thus opening a new trial before it”.
The judicial process could become set a precedent for the power of banks to close their clients’ accounts. In the future, this dispute could also be the basis for regulatory discussions on cryptocurrency in Chile.
“If the judgment turns out to be favorable for the cryptocurrency companies, I think the system will have shown that it works in these cases. There is no special exception we are asking for. Honestly, the case of banks against cryptocurrency companies is unacceptable in any developed country or with the intention of being so. It’s arbitrary and without a handle,” Torrealba said.
Closed Accounts Will Be Reopened
The compensation is part of a legal dispute at the national level after the banks decided in March 2018 to close the bank accounts of Buda.com, CryptoMKT, and Orionx and then refused to reopen them.
The action triggered a wave of judicial confrontations, criticisms and political positions, which at first seemed to lean against the exchanges. However, with the passing of the months, they ended up decreeing the reopening of the bank accounts of each of the companies.
Today, the battle has not only been won, but the authorities have are clearly in favor of legally negotiating cryptocurrency activity in the country. Especially after the companies in question provided adequate financial information.
The compensation recently decreed favors both exchange Buda.com and CryptoMKT. In the particular case of Orionx – whose claim was proceeding in parallel – the court has confirmed that the actions brought by Banco Bice and BancoEstado against the company have been denied, further information is expected in the future.
The latest TDLC decree is one more point in favor of the Chilean and Latin American cryptocurrency community, after facing one of the toughest battles with the banking sector. The news sheds light on the Chilean government’s position on the use of digital assets in the country.