Lloyds Banking Group, the British retail bank and the country’s largest lender, has announced it is banning customers from using credit cards to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The move, which is being implemented with all but immediate effect, comes amid fears that huge losses are being incurred by investors speculating on the currencies’ notoriously volatile market.
Bitcoin rose spectaculary in value during in 2017, from around around $900 to reaching just over $20,000 in December. But so far in 2018 the currency has fallen in value by more than half, and is currently trading below $8,000. The sharp drop comes in part on the back of a tough regulatory clampdown from countries including China and South Korea.
Britain and the US have voiced their concerns over criminals’ use of cryptocurrencies.
According to a report in today’s Daily Telegraph, Lloyds Banking Group’s measure comes on fears that some credit card customers are gambling on making big profits on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.