Exchange platforms in Bulgaria report the closure of their bank accounts. The financial organizations crack down on bitcoin due to the irreversibility of operations with it.

Large banks in Bulgaria refuse to serve cryptocurrency services and close their accounts. On 6 December, all major banks in Bulgaria blocked accounts of companies whose activities are related to the purchase or sale of cryptocurrencies, and also stopped making transfers to international crypto-exchanges, the administrator of the Bulgarian bitcoin forum wrote.

“UBB told us a few days ago that they are closing our accounts, which we used to trade cryptocurrencies. After talking with one of the bank's managers, I learned that this is more a decision of the bank's management, rather than pressure from regulators,” wrote Nester Dilkov, managing director of the Neterra telecommunications company.

The list of exchange platforms that were affected by the tightening of banking services includes such services as Cix.bg, Crypto.bg, and Cryptobank.bg. The latter continues to perform trading operations but accepts payments only through the Ewallet service.

The website of Cix.bg reports that the purchase and sale of bitcoins are temporarily suspended. The Crypto.bg site details the problem encountered by the service:

“Because of the imperfection of the traditional banking system, First Investment Bank stopped servicing our cryptocurrency exchange in Bulgaria. The problem is not in the bank itself, but in the banking system as a whole, and the bank's decision is quite understandable. In order to continue our activities, we need to conclude partnerships with international exchanges. That's why we suspend our activities until we find a solution,” says the Crypto.bg homepage.

The Crypto.bg blog explains that the ban is due to the fact that Bulgarian banking organizations see risks in servicing cryptocurrency exchanges, since the money that is exchanged into the cryptocurrency, in case of their fraudulent origin, can not be returned to the rightful owner.

In May 2017, Bulgarian law enforcement agencies seized 213 519 bitcoins from the criminal organization. At the current rate this sum equals to $3.2 billion. This is more than 5% of Bulgaria's GDP. Criminals used bitcoin in cross-border trade and for evading taxes and duties. In addition, they distributed malicious software, installing it on the computers of the customs service, which allowed them to transfer duty-free goods across the border. They avoided paying $6 million in duties.