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The Unavoidable Dangers of Peer-to-Peer Trading

Ice Ice Baby

When I called my bank, they told me that my account was being reviewed and frozen due to suspicious activity. However, the customer service rep refused to tell me what had happened or how much money was involved in this “suspicious” transaction.

They told me I had to visit the branch and speak with an employee, so I raced there—of course arriving two hours early. It’s not often that I’m this concerned about anything.

I entered the bank and approached a teller. She is friendly, inquiring about my Needs. I answer her questions truthfully: Yes, these people are personal friends of mine; No this isn’t for buying drugs or weapons (though she didn’t ask); it is to sell Bitcoin on an exchange. Her face changes as soon as I mention ‘Bitcoin’

She tells me that my account has been placed on hold by the fraud team and I need to meet with the branch manager. Okay, where is she? Late—leave number & she’ll call.

After meeting with the branch manager, I explained to him that I had been trading bitcoin on a peer-to-peer exchange

I have deposited a lot of money into my account via e-transfer lately.

I discovered that three recent transactions were the result of fraudulent activity, meaning that the e-transfers I had received originated with a stolen account. These transfers totaled over $1100 CAD—and while it wasn’t my money to give back, I was required to do so anyway.

I learned that yes, peer-to-peer trading is legal, but because of the amount of fraud surrounding crypto currencies (and banks’ concern about liability), they have decided to close an account if it’s related in any way to cryptocurrency.

Even if you did not commit fraud, the fraudulent charges will be added to your bill—the bank will flag your account and require that you pay back all of these charges.

Is it ethically acceptable to trade peer-to-peer if precautions are taken?

It depends. If you are trading with someone who is reputable, it’s possible that the bank will not find out about your transactions or have any problem with them. But if you are trading with someone who has a history of fraud, then it’s likely that your account will be closed and you’ll end up paying back all of the money taken from other people.

Legally, you can make money in peer-to-peer lending. But is it worth the risk of having your bank accounts frozen?

The banks don’t want to be responsible for your losses if something happens. This is why they are forcing you to pay back any fraudulent charges on the account before they will unfreeze it. If you have done peer-to-peer trading, or plan to do so, please comment below and let us know how it worked out for you!


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