In a recent televised comment that should surprise no-one, Bank of America (BofA) CEO Brian Moynihan proclaimed banks to be “safer than bitcoin”.
BofA’s Infamous Reputation
Before going further into Moynihan’s claim, lets first look at the company that he represents. Bank of America, or BofA, has repeatedly been labeled as one of the worst banks in all of the United States.
According to polls over the years, BofA almost always ranks at or near the bottom in terms of customer satisfaction. They also hold the dubious award of having received the most consumer complaints among American banks. The company is also notorious for its rapidly escalating fees and the removal of all new free checking accounts.
Bank of America is so despised by consumers that they currently hold a 1.5 out of 5 stars rating on credit advice site, CreditKarma. Of the votes tallied, 86% of them are of the lowest possible rating of just one star. Even The Onion has taken a jab at the much-maligned financial institution.
Moynihan’s Bitcoin Claim
Now that we know what sort of company Bank of America is, and how truly hated they are among most US banking consumers, what sort of complaint is their CEO leveling against Bitcoin? According to Moynihan, Bitcoin lacks security, and makes illegal activity hard to track.
Moynihan recently appeared on CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report”. On the program, Moynihan claimed that due to bitcoin’s anonymous nature, the platform is chocked full of illegal transactions. As such, laws should be passed in order to restrict it. When it comes to tracking illegal activity, he believes that banks do it better. In the following quote found on cnbc.com, Moynihan said:
“There ought to be a hard look at the policy of anonymous currencies, because the ability to track information of money flowing is one we use seriously against terrorism and as [a tool] against improper, illegal behavior”
What Moynihan does not do, however, is take a hard look at the failings of his own company. That, or the failings of the global banking system as a whole.
Funding terrorism or crime is not exclusive to cryptocurrencies. The use of traditional fiat currencies and banks to fund such activities is also nothing new. Criminals, as well as those just looking to hide money, have always found a way to use traditional banks.
An excellent example of this is the infamous Panama Papers leak. Given this, his argument is easily proven false. Choosing not to look deep into the figurative mirror, and instead blame bitcoin, seems like a diversionary tactic.
Possible Motivation for His Claim?
It appears that one of two things may perhaps be true. One, Moynihan and his naysaying ilk might still be stuck in the mindset of the Silk Road days of 2013. Consequently, they may still hold the obsolete image of bitcoin being the currency of choice for online drug deals.
Or two, Moynihan is perhaps afraid of what cryptocurrencies represent. That being, a way for common people who are tired of being manipulated by large, corporate, for profit banks to escape and hold some degree of financial self determination.
Countless forward-thinking technology icons and futurists like Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak support cryptocurrencies. Yet, we are still seeing a constant stream of negativity flowing from the overly conservative and technologically backward banking sector.
But did the BofA CEO’s comments make sense on any level? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images via BofA, CNN/Getty, Jon Southurst