Last week we ran into a bit of a problem with the bank - surprise surprise! When trying to place multiple orders with our suppliers the bank blocked our card due to “suspicious activity”. We had to spend over an hour on the phone trying to prove that the transactions were legitimate. After finally reinstating the debit card we were able to process another ten or so orders before another failure happened, this time on the payment processor side. Unable to fix the issue we decided to turn to cryptocurrency. Lo and behold, the remainder of the orders were paid with Bitcoin without a single issue!
In this instance, we were reminded of yet another reason as to why Bitcoin is better than banks and fiat. Let’s take a look at some of the other ways:
BITCOIN IS PERMISSIONLESS
Bitcoin is a permissionless cryptocurrency, meaning you don’t need permission to access and use the network. It allows anyone to participate in the network in the capacity of a full node, or a contributing miner. Anyone can take a read-only role, or make legit changes to the blockchain like adding a new block or maintaining a full copy of the entire blockchain. Such blockchains—which allow equal and open rights to all participants—are called open, public, or permissionless blockchains.
Banks however are not considered permissionless. You need to provide identification and go through credit checks before being approved for a bank account, so access to banks and credit cards are entirely at the discretion of the banks. In this way, they are discriminatory. Bitcoin doesn’t care who you are, where you’re from, or how old you are: you can participate without limitations.
Because users are able to send and receive bitcoins with only a smartphone or computer, Bitcoin is theoretically available to populations of users without access to traditional banking systems, credit cards, and other methods of payment.
While it is considered standard among traditional banks to charge account, deposit, and withdrawal fees, Bitcoin users are not subject to the same conditions. This means no account maintenance or minimum balance fees, no overdraft charges, and no returned deposit fees, among many others.
Standard wire transfers and foreign purchases typically involve fees and exchange costs. Since Bitcoin transactions have no intermediary institutions or government involvement, the costs of transacting are generally lower compared to those for bank transfers. Additionally, Bitcoin transactions are received instantly and it usually only takes an hour for proper confirmation.
BITCOIN TRANSACTIONS ARE SECURE
Bitcoin is not physical currency making it impossible for thieves to palm it off the holder. Yes, hackers can steal a person’s cryptocurrency if they know the private keys for the wallet, but with adequate security, it is technically impossible to steal bitcoin. While there are reports of hacks at cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitcoin’s network has remained impervious to such breaches. Therefore, transactions conducted between addresses on the Bitcoin network are secure.
THE FUTURE IS DIGITAL
Banks aren’t designed for a digital economy; they just don’t have tech in their DNA. In America for example, the biggest US banks run on COBOL (a pre-digital programming language) for 43% of their main back-office systems.
In an era where everything is moving to digital (businesses, communications, purchases etc), money NEEDS to move in this direction as well. That’s where Bitcoin comes in. Unlike cash and credit/debit cards, cryptocurrencies are fully digital, meaning that they are only available in digital or electronic form.
But why Bitcoin over, say, a centralised digital currency? Well, for exactly that reason. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are a decentralised form of value, meaning they are not under the control of a single individual or institution. There is no need for a middleman such as a bank or government, making it a completely peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Its decentralised nature makes it globally inclusive, enabling millions of people around the world to take control of their financial future. You don’t have to rely on a third-party service to give you access to your funds, and there is no entity that can lock you out or limit what you can do.