Traditional banking is running scared of cryptocurrencies, that much is clear. Everywhere you look there are articles about calls for greater regulation and banning of cryptocurrency use, very often instigated by the banks themselves. They don’t understand crypto, and they don’t want to understand it, because banks still live under the old centralized model. Banks are used to the command and control structure, where they dictate the market, and their customers fall into line.
With the advent of the blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and increasingly of smart customers who use many different technologies to fulfill their lives, the banks are ever more out of step with the markets that they profess to serve. How can they claim to meet the needs of their customers while at the same time barring use of credit cards to buy crypto, or deliberating obstructing transactions which in any way involve crypto?
Imagine this scene if you will: You meet a guy in a coffee bar, and he tells you a bit about his life. He has to travel a lot, but he’s afraid of flying. He doesn’t really understand aviation, or what keeps planes in the air. The next day you board the aircraft for your intercontinental flight, and sitting at the controls is the same guy from the coffee bar, now revealed as captain of your plane! How keen will you be to fly with that airline? OK, that’s a fantasy story, but it’s not so very different from today’s situation with the traditional banks. They lack the knowledge of the market, and they’re afraid of it, but they’d really like to get their hands on the controls!
Why? Because there’s clearly income to be made from engaging with cryptocurrencies. That’s the way markets are going, especially at a time when the banks are seeing a steady erosion of their earnings. If they can take a part of the market away from the challengers, then they’ll protect a corner for themselves. The problem is, they have to understand the market to do that, and it’s an area which the traditional banks are demonstrably unable to get to terms with. They’re like that fictional pilot who’s afraid of flying, and doesn’t understand aviation.
The Neobanks are much better and have no inherent fear of crypto, or how to manage it. They’re also far more customer facing, and have been launched on modern, technically sophisticated platforms. But while their digital awareness might be crypto-friendly, as yet they are certainly not crypto able.
Into this fear-based market, lacking in any true knowledge on the part of most of the traditional banks, comes an entirely new kind of bank, the ‘Any Asset’ Bank52. B52 is not only a crypto-friendly and crypto-knowledgeable bank, but is able to transact seamlessly in any form of asset, be it crypto, fiat, or any other form. For the first time ever, customers will have available to them a bank which understands and encourages new ways of working and banking, with clear ideas about cryptocurrencies and how to manage them.
So, which pilot would you prefer to have at the controls?