- Nordea Bank has the right to prevent its employees from investing in Bitcoin (BTC)
- Banning its staff to invest in BTC is a risky move and could Hurt Nordea’s Reputation
- Ironically, Nordea also offers Digital Asset Derivatives and blockchain-based Payment System
On December 3rd, 2019, a Danish court ruled that Nordea Bank was free to prevent its employees from investing in Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies, even in their own free time.
Earlier last year, Nordea Bank, one of the most reputed financial institute in Northern Europe, banned all its 31,000 employees from owning Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The giant Northern European Bank did not stop there. It also restricted its workers from learning about the crypto space.
This prompted Denmark’s union for Financial Industry Employees to file a suit against Nordea Bank, saying the ban interfered with employees’ personal lives.
Now, a Copenhagen-based court seems to support the bank’s notion that the crypto space remains a risky investment due to its near speculative nature.
Nordea holds the position that owning bitcoin is a breach of etiquette for employees because the bitcoin market is unregulated, and possibly linked to criminal activity.
A Double Standard?
Ironically, banning employees from owning cryptocurrencies and adopting blockchain technology could only harm Nordea Bank in the long run.
That’s because Nordea Bank itself has offered derivative financial instruments based on crypto assets, but only reserved for special clients. Employees can invest in those products, but not own actual coins.
Moreover, the bank itself has recently launched a blockchain-based payment platform (we.trade), permitting authorized cross-border remittances for small companies.
Many are asking how Bitcoin could be risky and hurt the bank’s reputation, while on the other hand, the bank deems crypto fit for its clients.
It is also ironic for the bank to adopt the revolutionary blockchain tech while banning its employees from using cryptocurrencies.
How Will Nordea Implement Bitcoin Ban?
At this point, it is unclear how the bank would check for cryptocurrency ownership among employees. Holding actual BTC could be as simple as memorizing a seed phrase, as the digital asset is entirely decentralized.
Chairman of the Finance Federation, Kent Petersen, also points out that Denmark is a country where every individual has the freedom to invest his money wherever he/she likes.
In this light, the new policy from Nordea could be considered as a legal offense against the employees, as cryptocurrencies can be said to be part of free speech.
Despite the ban, the Bitcoin ledger remains much more transparent in comparison to bank ledgers. That’s because balances and transactions are visible for anybody, and in numerous cases, the origin of digital coins can be tracked.