Added Regulatory Oversight Wins Unisend New Banking Partner

By November 3, 2014 Bitcoin Politics
Click here to view original web page at www.coindesk.com
oversight, regulation

Unisend has announced it will once again enable Argentina-based users to fund exchange activities through bank transfers.

The news comes roughly three months after the Argentinian bitcoin exchange abruptly lost its accounts with previous banking partners Banco Santander Rio and Banco Galicia, thereby limiting the company’s service in what isarguably Latin America’s most prominent bitcoin market.

Founder and CTO Pablo Eterson said the announcement was the end result of months of effort by the seven-person company, which has needed to apply for new accounts while putting a new emphasis on compliance with local regulators.

Eterson told CoinDesk:

“We integrated our platform to the Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos [AFIP, the Argentinian tax agency] to send online reports about our activity using their API. All this is intended to make our operations clearer to banks and government agencies so they know what's going on and learn about our process and the way we're working.”

Unisend is now working with Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires – a state-backed bank, unlike the exchange's previous, private partners.

Since August, Argentina-based customers of the exchange have needed to fund their accounts through payment processing services. However, due to the high fees, Eterson said volumes at the country’s only order-book exchange have declined.

Increased oversight necessary

Eterson acknowledged in the interview that some Unisend users may be anti-government or anti-regulation and therefore wary about the integration with the AFIP.

However, Eterson suggested that the bank transfer method naturally appeals to individuals who acknowledge that their transactions may be monitored due to the regulated nature of fiat money in Argentina.

Eterson argued that those who have nothing to hide from government authorities shouldn’t take issue with the exchange’s decision, and further stated that he believes Unisend has a responsibility to help prevent illicit activity on its platform.

“As an exchange working with banks in Argentina, it is our responsibility to know our customers and to check the sources of the money being deposited into our exchange,” he said.

In addition to Argentina, Unisend launched in Mexico this September. To date its operations in this market have been comparably smooth.

Slow recovery expected

Today's announcement will also coincide with a new public relations push by the exchange, which has used local bitcoin social media sites and its email lists to encourage former users to return to the platform.

Eterson estimates that Unisend has 1,700 registered users and believes that many who have left the exchange will return. Still, he cautioned that it will take time to win back customers who may have migrated to bitcoin brokerage solutions.

“I'm not sure if we will be able to recover the volume we used to have before banks closed our accounts,” Eterson said, “but we hope to slowly start growing our number of transactions.”

Unisend officially resumes bank transfers starting today.

Images via Unisend; Shutterstock

ArgentinaUnisend

The news comes roughly three months after the Argentinian bitcoin exchange abruptly lost its accounts with previous banking partners Banco Santander Rio and Banco Galicia, thereby limiting the company’s service in what isarguably Latin America’s most prominent bitcoin market.

Founder and CTO Pablo Eterson said the announcement was the end result of months of effort by the seven-person company, which has needed […]

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