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Opinion

Crypto fans crow over Danske’s troubles

Allegations of large-scale money-laundering at Danske Bank’s Estonian branch may have been bad news for Scandinavian banks, their investors and European authorities – but at least someone’s happy.

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts, fed up with seeing their asset class dismissed by traditional bankers as the preserve of fraudsters, jumped at the chance to indulge in a little schadenfreude.

Anthony ‘Pomp’ Pompliano, founder of a North Carolina crypto-focused venture capital fund, tweeted: “A single bank location at one bank [sic] laundered more money than the entire market cap of cryptocurrencies. Crypto market cap: $225 billion. Danske Bank: laundered $235 billion.”

He concluded: “Long bitcoin, short the bankers.”

While some Twitterati were leery about the comparison of stock with flows, not to mention the claim to be able to put a dollar value on the nebulous crypto universe, Pomp’s comment scored thousands of likes and retweets.

Glee

It also inspired a slew of articles in the crypto press, including one by online news site Bitcoinist. In addition to quoting Pomp, the piece also gleefully noted that, as recently as March, Danske had issued a statement advising customers to steer clear of cryptocurrencies.

In stern language, the bank warned clients against crypto assets on the basis of their lack of central bank backing, high price volatility – and “most importantly”, links with criminality and money-laundering.

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