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Wells Fargo Bans Cryptocurrency Purchases on Its Credit Cards

Hannah Levitt, Jennifer Surane

Wells Fargo & Co. customers hoping to use their credit cards to buy Bitcoin will have to look elsewhere.

While putting a prohibition on such cryptocurrency purchases for now, Wells Fargo “will continue to evaluate the issue as the market evolves,” Shelley Miller, a spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement.

Wells Fargo joins Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., which limited cryptocurrency purchases on their credit cards in February, citing market volatility and credit risks. Lenders have said they’re worried they’d be left on the hook if a borrower lost money on a digital currency bet and couldn’t repay.

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A study conducted by LendEDU last year found that roughly 18 percent of Bitcoin investors used a credit card to fund the purchases. Of those, 22 percent couldn’t pay off their balance after buying the digital coin.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, has lost more than half its value this year, dropping to $6,736.89 at 11:17 a.m. in New York. Investors’ enthusiasm for the digital coins has waned partly due to a string of cyber heists and lingering concern over a clampdown on trading of such currencies in China.

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