The 2018 Consensus conference in New York was packed with numerous DLT insiders. But outside, Genesis Mining created a spectacle by staging a protest by “Bankers Against Bitcoin,” a group they helped create and support.
There is no word yet about who these “bankers” were, or whether they were paid to protest the conference with slogans like “paper checks use less electricity” and “we opened all those accounts by accident.”
The latter likely refers to the scandal that still plagues Wells Fargo, wherein Warren Buffett’s favorite US banking investment opened up millions of unauthorized accounts that fleeced their unwitting clients.
Despite the comical nature of the ‘protest,’ the ideas that Genesis was shining a light on are worth consideration. One sign at the stunt claimed that charging a 19% fee to send money to Mexico from the US was totally justified. A transaction like this is extremely simple to do and has basically no risk attached to it.
Why banks charge so much to do simple bookkeeping is unknown, but it does create a huge opportunity for competition.
There was a time when international money transfers were difficult, but in a world of centrally settled fiat currency transactions between money center banks, we are now really just looking at moving around numbers on a ledger. Fiat currency doesn’t have any physicality, nor does it have any sort of anchor in reality.
A situation like this is wonderful for the banking system, given their near monopoly status and hand-in-glove relationship with major governments. Unfortunately for the banks, people seem to be waking up to how the financial system is organized, and looking for new ways to settle transactions.
DLT-based systems, like Bitcoin, are probably the forerunner of a very new global transactional system, where people have far more control over how they can trade with one another. The actual costs involved with moving numbers around the world is very small, especially given how developed our communication systems have become.
They May Be Missing ‘It”
The single largest shareholder of the very same Wells Fargo that committed massive fraud is none other than Berkshire Hathaway. In an annual meeting earlier this year, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett, said that Wells Fargo’s woes aren’t different than any other company.
Massive fraud that is perpetrated with the goal of profiting from trusting customers does nothing to give people any sort of confidence in their banking system. Warren Buffett recently said that bitcoin is “rat poison squared,” while his top lieutenant Charlie Munger compared it to bodily waste.
Bitcoin is neither, and unlike the kind of companies that Warren Buffet chooses to invest in, DLT technology empowers free trade and secure transactions.
For an idea that is around a decade old, blockchain has already made a huge impact on people all over the world. As time goes on, it will likely show the existing financial system why innovation is so important.
Nicholas Say was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has traveled extensively, lived in Uruguay for many years, and currently resides in the Far East. His writing can be found all over the web, with special emphasis placed on realistic development, and the next generation of human technology.