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Stringent Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and tedious opening account procedures have made opening a bank account in the US more difficult than buying a gun. Could Bitcoin fill the void for a universally accessible bank account?
Stringent Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and tedious opening account procedures have made opening a bank account in the US more difficult than buying a gun.
Could Bitcoin fill the void for a universally accessible bank account?
The reason why it is so easy to buy guns (including assault rifles) in the US is historical – the right to bear arms is part of the US constitution.
The strong lobbying of the National Rifles Association (NRA) prevents any curtailing of this right.
With a sizable population of middle class Americans backing the NRA, the Government is loath in taking action to restrict gun ownership.
New customers have to jump through hoops before they can open a bank account – provide proof of identity, proof of residence, source of funds, etc. Banks may decide to perform additional checks if the customers are deemed to be of high risk.
This begs the question – does the government view bank accounts as more dangerous than firearms? Controlling financial crime is important, but the imposition of numerous checks results in additional hassles for the common man.
Moreover, bank customers face the risk that their confidential data may be leaked if the security system of their bank is breached (as in the case of J.P. Morgan)
Larry Summers, former US Treasury Secretary, writes in the Washington Post:
“The right to be secure in holding one’s money seems as fundamental as the right to carry an assault rifle... I cannot explain our society’s choices here. Just as the Salem witch trials are inexplicable to us, our support for assault rifles will be inexplicable to our descendants.”
If Bitcoin acceptance becomes widespread, it could take the place of your bank account. You wouldn't have to bother about opening a new account if you moved cities or even countries.
Even if you are homeless and unable to provide a proof of residence, you can create a Bitcoin wallet to keep your money safe. What you do with your money will be your business – not the government's
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