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If I trust my bank, why would I ever need crypto?

What's crypto for if I don't mind someone else to look after my wealth?

Posted November 7, 2022

Woman walking in front of a bank entrance
Woman walking in front of a bank entrance

If you really trust your bank with your life (savings), is crypto still relevant in your life? Why would you ever need it? 

Because circumstances change…

“It was 2015 and I had just landed in New Zealand, sight unseen, with my husband and two small children. I had secured a marketing role in Auckland city, but that wasn’t due to start for another two weeks. I had brought ‘some’ cash with me, but that was fast running out. 

“Exchange controls in South Africa meant that moving my money would take up to a week (or more). That was time I didn’t have. I needed the money to be available locally almost immediately for urgent expenses like a small family car, a rental bond and kindy fees in advance for two small children. 

“I panicked; and then I Googled. I found a local crypto exchange who could help and it took me just 17 minutes (maybe less?) to set up my account; buy some cryptocurrency; and almost instantly convert that to New Zealand dollars which I could withdraw into my local account. 

No multiple pages of forms or delays to access my own money. No having to use a credit card (and be charged exorbitant fees per transaction) to survive while checking my balance every five minutes and praying to the ‘banking gods’ that someone in ‘admin’ would hasten my transfer. I had tapped into a superpower – the ability to move funds at lightning speed when I desperately needed them. I didn’t need my bank or the government or anyone’s permission. As an immigrant – it felt like a miracle.”  – Jody Boshoff (Owner, Launch PR).

The future is often unpredictable; and although you might ‘assume’ the bank you’ve stored and transacted your money with on a daily basis will be as great to deal with when it comes to travel or emigration, you might just be mistaken. What’s more, when that same bank is forced to comply with antiquated and complex financial controls, extracting your money can quickly become no simple matter.  

Because access to banking differs…

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“But I live in a ‘first world’ country and I don’t plan to emigrate….” 

I hear you, but do you do business globally? Do you have friends or family in other countries? Do you travel?

In all these situations, crypto provides that ‘superpower’ that banks don’t deliver. I employ staff around the world, and I pay them using cryptocurrency. Not because it’s the industry I’m in, but because it’s the fastest, cheapest, most efficient way to move money.

I can send my staff US$1000 and in mere seconds they will receive exactly US$1000. No fees, no waiting, no paperwork. And also no volatility in the rate. 

So maybe you trust your bank to safehold your assets, but can you trust them to provide the best service to you as a customer? To innovate, to improve the way money works for you?

If your experience of sending money internationally is anything short of the near-instant, fee-free experience that I have with cryptocurrency, then your bank is failing you as the customer.

And the benefits of being able to pay anyone, anywhere in the world, instantly has led to new use cases we never would have thought of. Did you know that cryptocurrency is currently being used as a vehicle to crowdfund global financial support for the Ukraine government that will reach the government directly? In fact, the Ukrainian government tweeted its official crypto wallets to ensure would-be donors knew the call to action was legitimate and the funds made it to the right place.

Because breaking down barriers to access helps communities….

If you’ve ever been part of a community organisation like a local sports club or hobby group, you’ll understand the concept of membership fees and group rules. Cryptocurrency and blockchain can help improve this as well. A ‘Digitally Autonomous Organisation’ (or DAO) is a way of organising people and their interests digitally using the blockchain and without geographical limits. Because the blockchain is a public ledger system, everything is visible and transparent – there’s no ‘wondering’ where your money goes. 

Currently – you cannot easily share a bank account between two people located in different cities; never mind hundreds of people located globally. DAOs are currently being used to run charities that can accept donations from anyone in the world (and members can vote on which causes to fund) and collective ownership – such as purchasing physical or digital assets and voting on how to use them. These organisations are constructed by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent and controlled by members. It is not  influenced by a central government which makes cross-border collaboration much easier. 

Led by Mark Pascall, is a global team based out of New Zealand who works with startups and established organisations to help them understand the benefits of decentralisation and implement decentralised solutions. In their own words: “We now have the power to build institutions that are far more trustworthy than anything humanity has been able to build previously. We believe that DAOs have the potential to help solve the big problems, creating a fairer society and saving the finite resources we all depend upon…”

Because innovation matters.

The benefits that we currently see from cryptocurrency are just the start. The key point here is around innovation. Cryptocurrency enables anyone to develop new use cases based on this superpower of sending value to anyone, anywhere, instantly.

Trusting your bank with your life (savings) isn’t the wrong thing to do; but when you need to transfer, spend or share those same life savings – you may find it harder than it needs to be.

One thing that cryptocurrency has shown us is the ability for innovation to thrive when money is moved outside of the control of the traditional banking system. Cryptocurrency gives us the ability to transact more freely, more fairly and more globally. And as the industry continues to innovate, that gap will widen, leaving traditional banking far behind, and improving billions of lives in the process.

Disclaimer: Crypto is volatile, caries risk and the value can go up and down. Past performance is not an indicator of future returns. Please do your own research.

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Disclaimer: Information is current as at the date of publication. This is general information only and is not intended to be advice. Crypto is volatile, carries risk and the value can go up and down. Past performance is not an indicator of future returns. Please do your own research.

Last updated March 27, 2023

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