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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bitcoin from a bankers perspective

Check out what a banker has to say about Bitcoins.

"Let me know your opinion, it's your Bitcoin!
First I think Bitcoin is a great concept that is sorely needed in today’s Global – Fast moving internet economy. I am personally a true fan of Bitcoin of its openness and transparency. My family and I sit on the board of directors of 4 small – medium sized private banks. Over the past couple of months as the big hoopla over Bitcoin has garnered worldwide media attention, I decided to bring up the Bitcoin concept up for discussion.
I know that Bitcoiners everywhere believe that the Banks are scared of Bitcoin and are out to crush it; however, nothing could be further from the truth. Bankers are businessmen and run the Bank as a business and as any other business with profits being the goal while providing services for a fee to their customer’s base. The recent shutdown of accounts related to Bitcoin exchanges were not caused by the Banks not wanting competition from Bitcoin as an alternative, but by the burdensome regulation imposed by mostly western Governments that we all elected and put in place. A Bank wants to simply take your money, and provide credit to others to use your money to fund their home, car, business, etc… there is no big mystery or conspiracy behind it. They just don’t want to get fined by not complying with the AML/KYC bylaws.
HSBC was recently fined $1.9 Billion just for that. Now maybe HSBC as one of the world largest banks can handle a $1.9 Billion fine, but most banks would collapse. Bitcoin solves many issues on a global scale providing the ability to move “currency” for almost no fees, everywhere in seconds, don’t you think that’s a Bankers wet dream not being tied to the slow moving Swift system where everyone and their mother takes a cut from a simple wire. It’s not even worth it to wire anything less than $1000 due to those high fees. So people go to WU (Still expansive compared to Bitcoin) and send money that way bypassing the Banks.
I would personally love to setup a Virtual Exchange account in one of our banks and have recently discussed that options with the Board of Directors, but the same thing that happened to bitfloor and Bitcoin-24 would eventually happen to this account. Our bank will need to shut it down due to the influx of unaccounted funds. If the bank can’t have a nice and neat paper trail of the funds then they will not be in compliance with AML/KYC and face fines. So their quickest solution is to freeze the account and refund the money a.s.a.p. They can’t take the risk of fines that these relatively small account of the exchange would cost the bank and their other customers and shareholders.
So let’s cut the banks a break and really dive down to the core issue that Bitcoin is facing: Fiat to Bitcoin and back to Fiat. A real Fiat Bank from scratch should be setup by Bitcoin users, miners, merchants and developers for the purpose of doing business in Bitcoin and exclusively to Virtual Currencies. That way we eliminate the risk of your everyday bank customer from being exposed to the Bitcoin Bank. The Bank will comply with all AML/KYC regulations and open individual and corporate accounts to customers separately, not just one exchange account as we have today. If there is an issue with one account, only that account is dealt with not freezing all other accounts. Any account holder would transfer funds from their existing Bank account to their Bitcoin bank personal account. An escrow exchange clearing account can be setup to transfer funds in and out internally within the bank for executed trades between buyers and sellers of Bitcoin on the exchange open market. So your money will be in your personal private account and not in a here today gone tomorrow exchange account that has thousands of exchange customers funds tied up together with your money.
So if the Bitcoin community chooses to look at Bitcoin as a long term solution and not as a quick get rich scheme then the only viable long term solution for the success of Bitcoin is for members to join forces and form the First true Bitcoin-Fiat Bank. Serious replies only.
I would recommend opening a Bank in one of the few Bank Friendly nations like Panama. You could still receive a Banking license for a $3 Million Security Deposit. It requires Class B license to be authorized to do business with clients from all over the world, not including Panama.
The Idea of this thread is to measure the community's reaction and feedback to a such a proposal, would there be support or opposition to forming a Community Non For Profit Bank that exclusively caters to the Virtual Currency economy?
Just Revised: We could use the open Bitcoin idea, where all Bank account holders can view all other account numbers funds available and transactions, but without the Account's Holder's name.. may be an interesting new open concept in Banking. What do you think?
TLDR: Reposted from user:doyourduty below:
1) OP comes from a family of bankers
2) Banks aren't afraid of bitcoin, they love the idea of it. The KYC/AML laws are the problem.
3) Too many unaccounted for funds can cause a huge penalty
4) Main problem is bitcoin<-->fiat
5) OP's Solution: An international bitcoin bank in panama where fraudulent activity within a specific account could be dealt with individually instead of screwing everyone (i.e. bitfloor, bitcoin-24)
6) A personal bank account, with online access would be opened in your name, a debit/visa/mc would be issued and you and only you would have control and access to this account
7) Internal bank exchange from BTC to your currency would be performed instantly with other bank account holders though an escrow instant account to provide anonymity.
8) The Bank will act as any other bank as far as Fiat is concerned but will also provide you with the option to convert your Currency into BTC at any time from multiple open exchanges that will open accounts with the bank."