The Intriguing Irony of Big Banks Slowly Gaining Interest in Bitcoin: Unfolding the Future of Finance
The battle lines are being drawn on the battlefield of financial freedom and blockchain technology is the weapon of choice among the participants. The recent scandals of right-wing bloggers being evicted from platforms such as Patreon caused a surge of mainstream interest in the blockchain that promised freedom to transact that current companies could not take away.
This battle might have seemed small at first. Milo Yiannopoulos is one of the more notorious figures who was purged from the site when he opened an account to fund a comeback tour. Carl Benjamin, known better under his Youtube handle Sargon of Akkad, made news all over the tech world when his account was purged.
JP Morgan Chase Joins in the Purging
When an online service purges users, many people can be forgiven for ignoring it. Particularly older people who do not realize how much power those online services have truly taken away. However, what JP Morgan did to several right-wing activists prove that Bitcoin – and cryptocurrency in general – are sorely needed in today's market.
The vice-president of the National Centre for Public Policy Research, David Almasi, confronted this very issue at shareholders of JP Morgan Chase in the most extravagant way possible. Almasi delivered a copy of Orwell's classic book “1984” to the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon. He did not openly say anything to that effect, but rather suggested that Dimon should reread the book to “brush up” on the specter of big brother.
HE must have left the meeting feeling that the symbolic gesture had little to no effect on the CEO as Dimon barely stopped short of promising a full offensive into bank members who were involved in “wrong-think”.
Bitcoin as an Answer to Censorship
Now, this doesn't mean that Bitcoin itself can't be used to censor people either. After all, Coinbase kicked Milo Yiannopoulos off its platform very quickly. In fact, it took only three minutes from the divisive far-right figure to be kicked off the platform that controls more Bitcoin than any other exchange bar Binance.
This is nothing new for Coinbase, who did the same to Gab. Gab is a social media website that promises no censorship on its platform and is open to everyone. Purging Gab, while at the same time hiring hackers who had worked for dictatorial regimes to help with the prosecution of Saudi journalists has been a bitter pill to swallow for many of Coinbase's clients. These clients have been leaving in droves following the complicated series of events that have left a bitter pill in the mouths of formerly happy clients.
However, despite Coinbase's actions, that does not mean Gab or Milo are locked out of Bitcoin. The beauty of Bitcoin is that even if every single crypto-exchange and online payment platform (Paypal has been notorious for similar practices) were lockout Milo… he would still be able to use Bitcoin.
The fear is that now that banks have gotten in on the action, particularly one as powerful and influential as JP Morgan Chase, others will soon follow suit. The beauty of Bitcoin is that even if all banks decide to follow every crypto exchange and every online payment platform – Bitcoin will still be an option for people like Milo Yiannopoulos.
There are people who have been living off of Bitcoin for the better part of a decade. There are sites where you can buy food, pay your rent and do almost anything so long as you have enough coin. This is only becoming easier by the day as more and more businesses are embracing both Bitcoin specifically and cryptocurrency in general.
While JP Morgan Chase might be proclaiming innocence, and saying that the pro-Trump activists were removed due to KYC, and AML concerns, the answer is much simpler than that. Their own help-desk staff was just as perplexed at the turn of events as the former clients of the bank.
It is time for Bitcoin to shine, not only as a currency or a store of wealth but as a bastion of the freedom upon which the early internet was founded. Bitcoin was created at a time when the freedoms once taken so lightly began to turn people's privacy into a commodity. Now it is here to fight another fight.
This is the fight for freedom of speech and one thing is for sure – when freedom of speech is involved, the issue can become greater than anything else, particularly in the US. If Bitcoin wasn't already booming, it would now.