The U.K. banking sector has been notoriously averse to serving firms in the industry such as cryptocurrency exchanges. In the earlier days of crypto, U.K.-based exchange clients were forced to use SEPA banking transfers via European banks to fund their accounts. And though that situation has eased slightly , even prominent and established firms like Coinbase have still had problems, with Barclays pulling support last year.
Once a popular medium for laundering drug money, cryptocurrency exchanges now require disclosures that make operations like Helix less common. In 2018, more than 40 alleged dark-web drug dealers were arrested as part of a federal sting effort targeting darknet vendors. By offering cash for bitcoin, Homeland Security agents traced more than $20 million in drug-linked cryptocurrency transactions to individual dealers.