On Friday Wells Fargo announced that in response to the COVID-19 outbreak it would be suspending evictions, residential foreclosure property sales, and automobile repossessions. These moves may appear altruistic, yet taking steps to allow customers to purchase bitcoin would be an equally beneficial service.
Banks Now Making Major Concessions, But when Bitcoin?
Wells Fargo is one of many banks that are now granting customers leniency. Some are now permitting mortgages to be paid late. Others are doing the same for credit card payments. It is safe to assume that they will make many more concessions as this global crisis unfolds.
Although these moves are laudable if Wells Fargo wishes to make a true impact on the well-being of its customers now is the time to end its draconian policy of blocking all-things-crypto. Since last year it has routinely refused access to exchanges and other institutions that provide fiat onramps for bitcoin. It has prevented credit card purchases since 2018.
Opening the door to bitcoin purchases would grant its customers access to all options as they navigate this economic downturn. Many no doubt hold bitcoin, which they may wish to sell in order to pay bills. By blocking access to their bank accounts Wells Fargo is making this process vastly more difficult. Others may wish to use bitcoin to send money to distant relatives, a critical need for many across the globe, yet they cannot send it if they cannot buy it.
Profit Alone Still Drives Banking Decisions
Bear in mind that letting customers pay late may be helpful, yet is also largely unavoidable. Like all other businesses, banks are understaffed and are having to make significant adjustments to remain operational. They will soon have no choice but to slow many of their day-to-day operations, such as foreclosures. Wells Fargo thus likely understands that by putting a compassionate face on what is sure to be a wave of delinquent payments helps its tarnished public image.
Benefits notwithstanding, bitcoin and crypto advocates should not expect Wells Fargo to end its crypto ban any time soon. It has repeatedly proven that its quest for profit trumps the well-being of its customers or even the simple requirement to obey the law.
Like other major banks, the executives at Wells Fargo understand the existential threat blockchain assets pose to their traditional business model. Fortunately, they will soon have no choice but to enter the crypto space, as services like RippleNet and IBM’s Blockchain World Wire move into the market.
For now, the best bitcoin and crypto advocates can hope for from Wells Fargo is greater respect for the reality of the impending crypto revolution. No doubt its leaders are becoming more aware of it by the day.
Do, you think Wells Fargo will allow its customers to buy bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.
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