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Recently, a spate of banking failure and ATM outages have been cropping up across the world. Primarily, these have been in places like India and politically volatile regions like Hong Kong. However, reports out of America are now showing countrywide outages from Bank of America, leading ’s lack of centralized financial authority to shine through.
Banking and financial uncertainty, as well as the threat of a global recession, has led to a more measured approach being taken in the examination of Bitcoin as an alternative to fiat currency. Most of the examples of where this financial system can work and evolve have been seen in nations under pressure, like Venezuela, India, and Hong Kong.
However, even with the U.S. staring down ever-decreasing interest rates, the financial superpower has not really had any catalyst to drive it towards an alternative system where individuals’ money is much more under their own control. This banking outage has sparked outrage as much as it has sparked a debate on the feasibility of Bitcoin.
According to reports, and social media, Bank of America customers, were being met with “temporarily out of service” announcements on ATMs while others said they were unable to pay their bills and that their cards were being declined.
— Robyn Garner (@TheRealRobynG) October 30, 2019
One Twitter user explained that Bank of America was allegedly reporting that this major outage was just for maintenance, but as expressed, no one appeared to be notified.
Looks like #bankofamerica is down US wide. Not even ATM's are working. I just called them and they said they are undergoing a maintenance. I don't understand why they didn't notify us before. Seems like a DDOS attack. #bankofamerica
— shaktiman (@shaktiman999) October 30, 2019
Banks have become susceptible to failure in times of economic uncertainty, and even as a centralized chokepoint of money, they are very vulnerable to attacks. In fact, there is a prediction from consultancy firm McKinsey that if a recession does hit, banks that are not fintech focused, may fail.
The primary concern in this instance of Bank of America having server outages is that people have suddenly lost all access to their own money. It is a sentiment that has been growing since the last major economic collapse of 2008, where a vast portion of the global population saw their wealth wiped out as banks collapsed.
Such outages as being experienced by Bank of America customers act as poignant reminders that they do not control their money. The creation of Bitcoin was a hedge against such failings, and although it began small, Bitcoin is reaching a magnitude where it is close to being considered a viable alternative financial system that can bypass banks.
A failing economy and struggling banks will only continue to push this narrative. Just like the 2008 collapse catalyzed the creation of Bitcoin, continued banking failures may spark the critical mass adoption of a new decentralized financial alternative.
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