Earlier today news broke that major Dutch bank Rabobank announced their own cryptocurrency wallet Rabobit. Remarkable, because it’s the first time Rabobank publicly rubs shoulders with a coin they used to denounce.
And it didn’t take long before the affair burst into pieces. In a conflicting statement the bank stated it does not change their Ethics Committee’s original position on crypto. Whut!? Obviously the bank seems to want it both ways. Chumming up with crypto and at the same time linking Bitcoin to criminal activities. Like (amongst other things) money laundering and child abuse. This is what their Ethics Committee has to say about the very same coin that is supported by their very own Rabobit wallet (original Dutch report here, pdf alert):
“The Ethics Committee of Rabobank is of the opinion there is too little regulation on Bitcoins. As a result the digital currency can be used for criminal activities like money laundering and trade of child p*rn*graphy, drugs and weapons. The internal commission comes to the advise that trading of Bitcoin should not be facilitated. The commission is of the opinion Rabobank clients who trade Bitcoins should be labelled with a “higher risk” profile.”
An unexpected turn of events, after Rabobank launched the website for their new service called Rabobit. The wallet is supposed to offer a secure banking environment to crypto holders. According to the official Twitter account of Rabobank it is absolutely not a hoax or a scam (unless you consider banks scammers, but that’s a whole different story). Some outlets already spoke of a major u-turn of a bank that was previously known for its hostile attitude towards crypto. So are we witnessing the beginning of a whole different tulip mania?
Conflicting statements about Rabobit
Nah, a few hours later it looks already pretty different for Rabobank’s flirt with cryptocurrency. Not to say like a traffic accident in slow motion. Actually, it looks like someone responsible for the new crypto wallet hit the publish button, even before consulting with the higher ups in the boardroom. Or someone accidentally confused intranet with internet. Anyhow, it seems like this crypto website was never supposed to be online. As the answers on Twitter to predictable questions are a bit off and sometimes utterly awkward. As it turned out there is no shift in Rabobank’s position on crypto at all. Which is pretty inconvenient when someone in your organisation puts a crypto site online with your banks logo on it. Linked by their very own Ethics Committee to all kinds of illegal activities.
Some of the questions asked on Twitter (in Dutch): when will the service be operational? And what is the bank’s official position regarding crypto? As Rabobank has a reputation of disliking crypto. Even more than IOTA dislikes The Next Web.
One answer we already knew. It’s still unclear if the wallet will ever be launched. For the question about Rabobank’s official opinion the answer is even more embarrassing. And self incriminating.
“Rabobit is a pilot and no part of our services. The position of our Ethics Committee with regards to cryptocurrency trading remains valid”.