Bank of Montreal Starts Blocking Debit/Credit Card Transactions Tied to Cryptocurrencies

Bank of Montreal has started blocking all buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. In an internal bulletin sent to its wealth management products division, the bank said the decision was taken to protect clients due to the excessive volatility of cryptocurrencies.

According to the leaked bulletin, posted by an anonymous BMO employee on Reddit, Bank of Montreal has been blocking clients from using their credit and debit cards, as well as online payments methods such as Interac Online.

“Clients attempting any cryptocurrencies transactions using a BMO Debit or Credit MasterCard will be blocked, and will be presented with a screen message advising them that transaction cannot be completed.,” said the BMO memo.

And BMO isn’t the first Canadian bank to take such drastic measures. Last month, stories began to surface on various forums that TD Canada Trust was blocking cryptocurrency transaction on their TD Visa cards.

But while some major Canadian financial institutions may have temporarily prevented their clients from dealing in cryptocurrencies, some data has emerged recently that suggests tech-savvy Canadians have turned to P2P marketplaces like LocalBitcoins, to circumvent the blockade.

In the last two weeks of March, over $13 million CAD worth of bitcoin was traded on LocalBitcoins by Canadian investors, according to figures by This is a significant increase to prior weeks, where weekly volumes barely exceeded one million Canadian dollars.

And Canadians aren’t the only ones to be saved by P2P bitcoin marketplaces. In February of 2017, investors in China flocked to LocalBitcoins after major Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges were forced offline by regulators from the People’s Bank of China.

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