Compass Mining Says Chase Shut Down Bank Accounts Without Warning

Bitcoin mining firm Compass Mining’s bank accounts with Chase Bank were terminated without warning earlier this week, according to Compass CEO Whit Gibbs. 

Gibbs took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce the shutdown, writing: “Shoutout to Chase for shutting down Compass Mining accounts for doing our part to replace the old guard with self-sovereign, future-focused supporters of hard money.”

According to Gibbs, Compass learned about the account closures when its COO, Jameson Nunney, visited a local branch in Ohio to make a transaction and was told by an employee that the company’s accounts had been frozen the day before, and that Chase would be holding the money until August 27. The accounts held approximately 7% of the company’s cash. 

This is not the first time Chase has closed accounts belonging to crypto-related companies, or even to individuals making crypto transactions. Yet Chase has also expanded its crypto banking services, even taking on Coinbase and Gemini as customers in 2020. And earlier this year, Chase began allowing its retail wealth management clients access to crypto funds. 

But the closure of Compass Mining’s account signals that Chase may not have completely changed its view about crypto, after all. At the time of publication, a Chase spokesperson was looking into the matter and had not yet provided comment.

Gibbs told CoinDesk that although Compass was told that its account with Chase was undergoing a review approximately 90 days ago, it was not given warning about the closure. 

Compass believed that the review was to determine whether its account was eligible for an upgrade. Gibbs said Compass’ Chase relationship manager told executives they had nothing to worry about.

But Gibbs said Compass’ relationship manager then cut off communications. The accounts were closed without Compass receiving a letter or an email to inform them of the move. 

After Gibbs tweeted about the closure, he said he was flooded with messages of support and offers to provide services from a number of banks.

“The response from the community was fantastic,” Gibbs told CoinDesk.

Gibbs told CoinDesk that Compass was, however, able to get the funds from the frozen accounts and has now moved all its business to the crypto-friendly bank Signature.