Brazil Moves to Probe Banks After Crypto Exchanges Denied Services

Brazil's antitrust watchdog is investigating major banks for potentially collaborating to prevent crypto brokerages from gaining banking services.

AccessTimeIconSep 20, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:24 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Brazil's antitrust watchdog is investigating whether the major banks in the country worked together to close off access to cryptocurrency services.

The Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), an official wing of the Brazilian government, announced it was looking into the Banco do Brasil, Banco Bradesco, Itau Unibanco Holding, Banco Santander Brasil, Banco Inter and Sicredi, according to a report from Reuters.

These banks allegedly shut down accounts belonging to cryptocurrency traders and brokerages.

The investigation comes some months after the Brazilian Association for Cryptocurrency and Blockchain called for such a probe, with the group reportedly claiming that banks were "abusing their power" in denying crypto companies services.

"In fact, the main banks are imposing restrictions or even prohibiting ... access to the financial system by cryptocurrency brokerages," it said in a report.

The banks, in turn, are denying the claims, instead claiming that accounts were shuttered due to missing client data. Under Brazilian law, this data is required for anti-money laundering (AML) purposes.

Brazil isn't the only nation where purported antitrust violations are affecting cryptocurrency startups. An ongoing lawsuit in Chile alleges that banks banded together to shut down any accounts belonging to cryptocurrency exchanges.

Sao Paolo skyline image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.