After a scandal in the bitcoin community, ING Bank confirms the right of its clients to buy bitcoin, despite previous statements to the contrary.

The tension started on 15 July when Dutch Twitter user MiracleB, client of the ING Bank, blocked from buying bitcoin, wrote to her bank on Twitter:

“Why cannot I buy bitcoins at Bitonic? I understand the risks of Bitcoin, so please just stop blocking me.”

The bank was quick to react. After telling at first that the bitcoins were outside the scope of the bank, it finally answered: “it is indeed not possible to deal with bitcoins your ING account” because of the “risks associated with this coin”. In next remarks, it specified that bitcoin transactions are blocked “in the interest of customers” and that bitcoins present “an increased risk of fraud”.

A repost of this dialogue by the Dutch Twitter user Terry NL was accompanied by a rhetoric question: “So will ING decide what we can buy and what we cannot? Quite bizarre!” It provoked a burst of indignation among bitcoin enthusiasts, and the discussion, quickly stepping over the language barrier, passed from Dutch to English language. Finally, the bank, discarding all what had been said previously, wrote in Twitter in both languages:

“You can buy bitcoins with your ING bank account. Unfortunately, some confusion has arisen on this matter. We apologize for this.”

According to the Reddit user daan_btc, the whole dispute could have arisen because the bank did not manage to contact its customer to verify whether the transaction was legitimate and later a support team employee misinterpreted the situation.

IMG Bank is no novice to bitcoin. In April, it commanded a survey on mobile banking and digital currency. In June, it hosted the National Bitcoin Congress of the Netherlands and announced it was going to work with a network similar to one used by Ripple.