National Australia Bank Under Fire for Blocking Crypto Transactions, Citing Scam Concerns

Lena Smith
Lena Smith Crypto
3 Min Read

US authorities and regulators have been unrelenting in their attack on Bitcoin (BTC) and decentralized cryptocurrencies in recent months. Some anti-crypto bankers like the National Australia Bank (NAB) have eagerly joined the attack. NAB has been highly critical of crypto-assets and has taken the extreme step of blocking transactions with certain crypto-exchanges .

Retrograde Measures in an Evolving Landscape

While many banks have finally recognized the immense potential within the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry there are still a few bankers persisting with anti-crypto measures just like in the past years. The National Australia Bank (NAB) is one such case. In a recent announcement the bank stated the cancellation of transactions to so-called “scam alerts.”

national australia bank under fire for blocking crypto transactions citing scam concerns

Questionable Intentions: NAB’s Pretextual Fight Against Scams Raises Concerns

NAB’s battle against scams serves as a pretext to justify blocking transactions on certain cryptocurrency platforms. However the bank fails to provide clear details about these platforms and merely refer to them as places “where scams are more numerous.” This vague description raises concerns about randomized decision-making.

Customers Discouraged and Payments Stalled: NAB’s Alert Message Service Raises Controversy

NAB explains that it has implemented an alert message service known as “payment prompts” to warn customers about transactions it deems “risky.” Nearly 12% of customers are discouraged by these warning messages and go on to cancel their transactions. As a consequence of this a staggering $270 million in payments were halted between March and July 2023.

Unanswered Questions: The Blurred Line Between Scams and Legitimate Platforms

The true impact of NAB’s actions remains unclear. It is difficult to say exactly what percentage of the $270 million stopped in four months would have truly ended up in a scam rather than being directed to a legitimate crypto platform deemed “at risk” by the bankers. 

As the controversy unfolds the future of crypto transactions at NAB and the broader implications for the industry remain uncertain . The clash between anti-crypto sentiment and the growing innovation potential of cryptocurrencies continues to shape the landscape.

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I’m a freelance writer and journalist from Toronto, covering real estate, mortgage and personal finance for publications like Forbes, Money, Business Insider, Fortune, US News & World Report, The Motley Fool, CBS News, Hearst newspapers, The Balance, HousingWire, Money Under 30, Bankrate, Builder Magazine, Multifamily Executive, The Simple Dollar, and more.
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