Danske Bank, the Danish lender at the center of a giant Russian money laundering scandal, illegitimately processed more cash than the entire cryptocurrency market cap combined.
One Bank, $235 Billion
The astonishing figure, noted on social media by Morgan Creek Digital founder and partner Anthony Pompliano this weekend, comes as the true extent of the banking sector’s latest revelation remains unknown.
Danske laundered a reported $235 billion through just one of its branches in Estonia over an eight-year period, according to claims.
This week, the bank appointed an interim CEO in the form of its current Danish operations head Jesper Nielsen after abruptly firing extant boss Thomas Borgen.
Commenting on Twitter, Pompliano appeared to suggest the episode should give renewed faith to cryptocurrency investors subdued by criticism of the industry or sustained low prices.
“REMINDER: A single bank location at one bank laundered more money than the entire market cap of cryptocurrencies,” he wrote. “Long Bitcoin, Short the Bankers.”
At press time, the combined cryptocurrency market cap totaled $223 billion, slightly down on previous levels seen over the past few days.
Pots And Kettles
Danske had meanwhile taken a highly hawkish stance on cryptocurrency. Before the laundering scandal broke, a dedicated statement implored customers not to invest in the industry at all.
“…Most importantly, the lack of transparency and regulatory control have made cryptocurrencies a target for criminal purposes and we know that they on several occasions have been involved in criminal transactions like money laundering or extortion,” the statement reads, striking a now grimly ironic tone.
As a financial institution, we have an obligation to assist in the fight against financial crime and money laundering. At the current stage, cryptocurrencies do not offer the sufficient level of transparency in order for us to live up to our obligations within anti money laundering regulation.
The hypocrisy of the bank’s views is nothing new. Rabobank, the Dutch lender which found itself at the center of a money-laundering scandal involving its operations on California, had gone as far as to refuse accounts to Bitcoin businesses. This, it said, was down to “compliance risks.”