Most of the time interviews focus on the Digital currency businesses and rarely focus on major players outside the crypto world. What drives this “perceived aggression” towards Crypto? That is why we ventured into the lionesses den, armed with only a pen and some paper, to give you the views from the other side of the trenches and give the banks an opportunity to express them to the Crypto community.
One of Serge’s long-time friends and former Latin dance partner is a bank manager at a very important bank in Brussels. Because she wishes to hide her identity, so she won’t lose her job, we will give her another name in this interview. We applaud here bravery to be part of this interview, although it is in an unofficial capacity.
Serge: The general stance and official statements from the banking sector toward Digital Currency is more a confrontational stance. Can you as an expert shine a light why that is?
Ellen: Well the first thing that everyone needs to realise is that “the finance or Banking sector” isn’t a single unity. It’s rather like a board of directors where everyone has his or her own agenda. Sometimes this will require a tougher stance on certain aspects and other times it could mean that the general goals of “the banks” are in line with each other so they band together for their common goal.
Currently you have 2 mainstream camps: The first one is the group that really detests the whole crypto concept because they didn’t come up with the idea of digital currency in the first place. However there are also other reasons. The banks are monitored closely and are subject to laws, regulations and codes; something that digital currencies today do not have to worry about.
They have the “if we need to submit to rules and regulations then so will the rest of the financial sector, including digital currencies” mind set and they will move heaven and earth to get that done. This can be seen in the recent regulatory proposal in NY state. Most of these “harsh” stances come from the childish resentment (I need to follow the law and regulations and why aren’t the other ones subject to the same rules?) and mainly because most don’t understand Crypto currency.
The second group are the ones that see the potential benefit that these crypto currencies can provide to the world. One of these banks that is already implementing this is the Fidor Bank, but most of these forward thinking banks are waiting to see what the higher institutes decide what is allowed and what isn’t.
However we are a bit “irritated” with most governments about their lack of interest or speed to give a legislative guidance about Bitcoin and alt coins. The only thing that we received is: “Don’t trade in digital currency”. I personally do not see any difference in trading stocks, foreign currency or digital currency. It is all the same to me.
I think that the finance sector is a bit miffed at the government’s slow speed of creating legislative guidelines because there are so many good opportunities out there in the crypto world. The main problem, I think, is in the lack of education on the digital currency aspect.
Serge: This may be a bit of a brisk question but why do you want to keep your identity and your workplace a secret if the bank that you are a manager in has a “positive stance” on Crypto?
Ellen: Like I said we are supportive and see the benefits but we aren’t allowed to talk to the press or put our opinion out there. Last month one of my colleagues was fired because he gave his opinion about Europe and the EU financial watchdog. He was very critical in his opinion and although the interview didn’t air, he was fired nonetheless.
What you say and what you do, especially in high positions like managers or researchers like yourself, can have big repercussions. Talking about digital currencies in an interview is a big no-no at the moment and I want to keep my job. Nevertheless I want to give my opinion because I’m pretty upset by some of the comments we received from the Crypto community and I wanted to set the record straight so to speak.
Serge: So do you have meetings where you discuss crypto or how does that work? Where do you get your information from?
Ellen: We search the Crypto news sites, though most of the news out there is ranged from very biased to slightly biased and the “objective articles” are very few or are hard to find, except on CryptoArticles. You and Jean-Pierre are doing a marvellous job. We do love your approach because biased articles can be fun to read but eventually do not hold any value or any significant importance.
We in the finance sector really like unbiased news, especially concerning financial products like Digital Currency. This allows us to form our own opinions that aren’t clouded by someone else’s views. Most articles are like this: “this or that crypto coin is bad of fake or whatever because…. I say so”. From a financial and investment aspect that is completely worthless.
So yes we do have meetings about digital currency from time to time. We mainly use a couple of excellent news sites, including your own site CryptoArticles.com.
Serge: Do you own any Digital currency? If so why these currencies? What do you use these coins for?
Ellen: I do own some crypto but I will only name a few, so I would not influence the price too much by saying that I have this or that digital currency. The first crypto is the one you introduced me to: Bitcoin. I currently own about 6.5 BTC but that number will drop because I’ve seen some great sales on amazon and will buy gift cards with my BTC.
I usually shop at amazon.co.uk or amazon.de. Here in Europe there aren’t many reputable shops that use BTC as payment method. At least I can get some gift cards with my BTC.
The second altcoin I have in my portfolio is Blackcoin. I really like the things they are doing and are trying to do. Plus from a marketing standpoint the coin is solid. You know what it is, just like Bitcoin (unlike some other altcoins out there). They also respond promptly on questions which is a sign that they mean business and that they aren’t slacking or are becoming not interested in their own product.I see Blackcoin as a short to mid-term investment.
Serge: Do you think Digital Currencies are here to stay? What do you want to see improve, change, etc. concerning crypto and why?
Ellen: I agree with your statements and perspectives about digital currencies; that they are currencies and should be viewed as such. I do like the Venture Capitalists investing in start-ups in the crypto sector because this means that these entrepreneurial people see the digital currency market as a sleeping dragon that could start waking up very soon.
I follow your conclusion about Digital Currency 100% when you say that Crypto is the next logical step in the currency development. If you go back in time 20 years or so no shop owner ever thought they would sell their items online or over the internet. Today everyone sells their stuff on the internet.
I do like to see some fewer useless altcoins being created by the average Joe or Jane. This devalues the community and gnaws on the credibility of the Crypto community in general.
I also like to see all the governments make some guidelines and allow banks to get in the digital currency world. If this happens I think this will be a snowball effect. The governments create a transparent guideline, so everyone knows what is allowed and what is not. The shops will consider accepting crypto for payments, etc. This will boost crypto in many ways but also allow the general public to accept crypto as a viable payment alternative.
We, Serge Schouterden and Jean-Pierre Buntinx, thank Miss Ellen to give this enlightening interview with us. The Crypto community and CryptoArticles are very appreciative that you did this interview.