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Australia’s largest bank blocks payments to some crypto exchanges

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By Lewis Jackson

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) said on Thursday it would block some payments to certain cryptocurrency exchanges as part of a suite of new anti-scam measures that would limit customer crypto payments.

A spokesperson for CBA, the country’s largest bank, declined to name the crypto exchanges involved.

The bank said it would also from Thursday hold certain payments to crypto exchanges for 24 hours and soon introduce a monthly A$10,000 ($6,666) transfer limit to crypto exchanges. The CBA spokesperson declined to say whether those measures would apply to all crypto exchanges or a select few.

“Customers who make payments to crypto-currency exchanges are currently facing a significantly higher risk of potentially being scammed,” said James Roberts, general manager of CBA’s group fraud management services in a statement accompanying the decision.

Fellow “big four” bank Westpac last month blocked some cryptocurrency payments to reduce scam losses. It did not identify specific exchanges.

The decision comes weeks after Binance Australia told customers they would lose access to Australian dollar deposits and withdrawals because payments provider Cuscal cut access.

In the rush to exit, bitcoin on the Australian platform at points traded at a 20% discount to rival exchanges.

U.S. regulators sued the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange this week, alleging Binance inflated trading volumes and diverted customer funds among other claims.

(Reporting by Lewis Jackson; Editing by Jamie Freed)

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