Barclays is likely to follow other major lenders in the United States in stopping customers from buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with its credit cards, according to an interview with a senior executive at its credit card unit.
‘We are making the decision that we will likely no allow cryptocurrency purchases on the card,’ Paul Wilmore, managing director at Barclaycard, told the Bank Innovation blog.
A spokeswoman for Barclays in London said that the bank is reviewing its policy on a country-by-country basis and that it had not yet changed its policy.
Barclaycard is one of the biggest credit card providers in both Britain and the U.S. that is yet to formally announce a ban on card purchases of digital currencies.
This graph shows the shifting price of Bitcoin over the past week (Chart: Coindesk) Lloyds Banking Group, which issues just over a quarter of all credit cards in Britain, and Virgin Money announced such a ban last week, following the lead of JP Morgan Chase & Co and Citigroup.
The moves are aimed at protecting customers from running up huge debts from buying virtual currencies on credit, if their values were to plummet, a Lloyds spokeswoman said last week.
Bitcoin’s price does not appear to have taken much of a battering from the news and is currently on the up, standing at about £5,950. Its value dropped earlier this week in a ‘cryptopocalypse‘ before rebounding again after a US Senate cryptocurrency hearing reassured the market and boosted the value of Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and alt-coins.