Lloyds Bans Credit Card Accounts From Buying Cryptocurrencies

Lloyds Bans Credit Card Accounts From Buying Cryptocurrencies

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Britain’s biggest bank, Lloyds Banking Group, bans its 9 million credit card account holders from buying bitcoin amid concerns over the digital currency today after it lost more than 50 percent of its value in only two months. Bitcoin ended last week down 30 percent at $8,291.87 - its worst week since April 2013 and far below the $19,000 it reached last November. However, the cryptocurrency is still ahead of the $1,000 it was trading at this time last year. From today, credit card customers of Lloyds, which includes Halifax, Bank of Scotland and MBNA, are blocked from purchasing the cryptocurrency online via a blacklist which will flag up sellers, but digital currencies could be purchased with debit cards, the Telegraph said. The company fears that credit card owners will buy Bitcoin hoping to make a profit when its value goes up, but will be laden with debt if its price falls, the paper reported. Explaining the ban, a Lloyds spokeswoman said:
"We continually review our products and procedures and this is part of that."
Other British banks are expected to follow suit over the coming weeks after several of the biggest US banks including JP Morgan, Bank of America and Citigroup all confirmed plans to block attempts to buy digital currencies. Gavin Brown, a finance lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, said:
"For some people, the only way to finance this level of speculation is through credit, with people just doing it to make a gain."
Connor Campbell, the analyst at Spreadex, described Bitcoin's decline as a 'horror show'. He pointed to reports that the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission is investigating whether market manipulation was at play in the cryptocurrency's rise.
'The cryptocurrency has had a horror show week already, dragged lower by regulation changes in South Korea and news that Facebook is banning adverts for the product on its site', the analyst said on Friday. 'Already feeling delicate, then, Bitcoin was dealt another major blow this Friday, plunging 10.5% to $8,000 following reports that the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission is investigating the cryptocurrency's ludicrous end of 2017 rise for signs of market manipulation.'
British Prime Minister Theresa May has said Britain should take a serious look at digital currencies such as Bitcoin because of the way they can be used by criminals.   Is this a burst of the bubble? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

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