Banks halt cryptocurrency led e-Bike biz 50 Cycles

50 Cycles boss Scott Snaith has told inews.co.uk that the banks need to get to grips with businesses utilising cryptocurrency following a period where his accounts were frozen following trades.

Noted for its Toba Bicycle brand, on which customers can generate their own cryptocurrency simply by riding, Snaith’s business is embedded in this type of trading.

Customers of Toba able to generate 50 Cycles own ‘LoyalCoin’ at a rate of around £20 worth to each 1,000 miles ridden.

Snaith told the news site: “My two personal bank accounts and business account were frozen for using a well known Bitcoin trading site,” he said. “No unlawful activity has taken place but just because the word ‘Bitcoin’ was mentioned my accounts were locked instantly.  A ‘senior fraud advisor’ then closed my complaint off – leaving me with no choice but to take the issue to the Financial Ombudsman for appeal.”

With funds frozen, the knock on effects for the importer and retailer have been significant.

Of the banks that put a stop on accounts, HSBC has now unfrozen Snaith’s account, though Barclays reportedly is refusing at the present time.

He added: “I’m a professional business owner taking advantage of new financial technologies and it looks like the banks are failing to keep up with their customers’ habits. We are the ones being punished. The banks are deliberately creating obstacles. They are anti digital currency and displaying a new form of financial discrimination. The message is clear: your funds are not yours.”

According to cryptocurrency experts, this is not an uncommon scenario, with banks often questioning the nature of cryptocurrency trades.

Cryptocurreny use is, however, on the increase in the trade with the likes of Temple Cycles and 8 Ball Bikes among those accepting these digital currencies.