Crypto currencies and other virtual assets

Some risks associated with trading crypto currency and other virtual assets that you as a customer should be aware of
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Handelsbanken advise against direct trading in crypto currencies and other virtual assets

In accordance with recommendations from financial regulators and law enforcement agencies, Handelsbanken adopts a cautious approach towards crypto currencies and other virtual assets. Below are some risks associated with trading crypto currency and other virtual assets that you as a customer should be aware of, both as a way of protecting  yourself and to understand the bank's attitude and rules.

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Fraud in the crypto market has increased, especially so-called investment fraud where victims are tricked into investing, often smaller sums initially, in assets that do not exist or have no value. The fraudsters' marketing is often intrusive and the victims repeatedly contacted to invest more money or to pay taxes or fees to be able to access fake returns. Victims can also have access to fake investment platforms showing non-existing real-time returns on investments, and can also be contacted by fraudulent recovery asset firms falsely promising to restore any losses. These scams are frequently promoted on social media platforms, often exploiting the identities of well-known individuals through fake profiles.

If you suspect you have fallen victim to fraud, please contact Personal service on 0771-77 8 99.

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Financial risks 

Crypto assets can be difficult or impossible to evaluate in a reliable way. Not least, the price of various assets has fluctuated greatly over short periods (volatile).

In most cases, virtual assets operate without regulatory oversight, leading to a lack of investor and consumer protection measures. As a result, the risk of losing invested funds is notably high

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Money laundering

While there may be a high degree of transparency on blockchains that record transactions of crypto-assets, the holders themselves and also some kinds of virtual assets are relatively anonymous (privacy coins). This make them attractive for individuals seeking to launder proceeds from crime or to finance terrorist activities. This misuse also extends to the trading of crypto assets like NFTs and security tokens as well.
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The increased use of sanctions against countries and individuals means an increased risk of them using virtual assets to evade sanctions. If trading on unregistered crypto platforms, peer to peer (P2P), DeFi or with anonymous or untraceable currencies (privacy coins), there is a risk that you unintentionally may contribute to countries and individual evading sanctions.

In recent years, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed sanctions on services operating on the blockchain, and numerous virtual asset identifiers associated with sanctioned individuals, entities, and countries.

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The Tax Authorities require you to report your virtual assets and fulfill tax obligations on any profits or income derived from transactions involving them, whether it's trading, earning interest, selling NFTs or converting virtual assets into official currency. 

Non-compliance with tax regulations can result in legal repercussions, including penalties, fines, and potential criminal charges. This requirement extends to various activities, including cryptocurrency mining and professional endeavors like receiving a salary in virtual assets.

Rules for customers of Handelsbanken

  • There is a requirement that the bank must have good “know-your-customer” and thus know the origin of the money
  • As a customer, this may entail extended controls and questions
  • Handelsbanken might request complete documentation of transactions from the time virtual assets was purchased until the profit was deposited/ will be deposited into an account in the bank
  • It is not allowed to trade in cryptocurrencies if you do not report your trading to the Tax Agency
  • For customers who conduct business in crypto, such as mining or trading, strict requirements are imposed on routines and documentation
  • Trading to/from unregistered or unlicensed crypto platforms and with anonymous or untraceable currencies (privacy coins) is prohibited
  • Contributing to fraud and malicious activity is also prohibited