If you got money in the bank, do you think it’s safe? Asking for a friend.
If you live in Greece, Cyprus, Venezuela, China or Turkey there’s no need to answer that question, it’s totally rhetorical!
Living as an expat in Thailand (or anywhere else for that matter), moving your money from your country of birth to another is always a costly and often painful, long drawn out exercise.
The banking cartels have a monopoly over the movement of money and we have to pay large transfer and currency exchange fees for the privilege to change some zeros and ones on a computer screen between two banking entities. Why this still takes several days (excluding weekends) to accomplish, I will never know. It’s not like they are physically moving cash from one location to another is it!
I don’t hate much, but I do hate banks! They take your money which is a physical representation of your time and energy and through the magic of Fractional Reserve Banking create 10x more money into the supply.
This money (or currency) they just created out of nothing is then lent out at interest. When you can’t pay your loan (mortgage – death pledge) back and the interest on it, the banks will take your hard assets (house). So you are left with less than nothing and the banks have real tangible assets for absolutely nothing, I’ll say it again… the banks have real tangible assets for absolutely nothing!
It’s criminal. If you or I created fiat currency i.e. counterfeiting, we would be locked up. But not the banks, they have a monopoly on it!
I for one would be happy to see the banks implode and everyone start to use cryptocurrencies to transact with.
Bypass the Banks
I prefer to bypass the banks whenever possible and have used TransferWise in the past for business and personal use and saved a small fortune in the process (plus we bypass the banks – Bonus!). They have very reasonable fees and provide the real exchange rates rather than the banks that set their own inflated rates. Give them a try and thank me later.
Meanwhile, crypto currencies are the future, the very near future. For example, a Pilipino working in the US can send $50 home using Stella Lumens for less than a penny in seconds instead of a fee amounting to nearly 50% of the total and a minimum 3 day wait when using a bank or Western Union.
Own Your Own Data (Don’t Let it Own You)
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O you can use a web browser like BAT and see no ads at all and experience faster load times. If you wish to see ads, you can choose which ads you want to see an get paid for watching them.
The future is already here. The institutions will try to hold back the tide but they will drown in the tsunami that is coming.
So to cut to the chase, here’s a recent personal example of what the banks will try to do to stop you from spending your money when, where and on what you want. Of course they will tell you they do it all for your benefit, for your security!
I invested in a portfolio of cryptocurrencies a couple of years ago with a view to HODL for 5 years minimum. With hindsight, I wished I took some profits off the table about 18 months ago, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but don’t let me digress.
With the recent institutional money now pouring into the crypto space, I thought I’d check my wallets and trading accounts.
Coinbase was one of the first platforms I purchased Bitcoin from. After logging in I discovered I could now connect my UK debit card.
I have a NatWest account where I have unearned, passive income deposited. I forget about it and it’s always a nice surprise to see what’s accumulated in there.
I thought it would be a good idea to connect my card and purchase £500 of Bitcoin. However, the transaction was frozen with a message to call the fraud squad at the bank.
I logged in my bank account with customer number, four digit pin-code and 3 random digits of my password.
I spoke with a lady from Fraud Dept. who asked me:
- My name
- Date of Birth
- My phone number – I explained at this point I’ve lived in Thailand for 7 years and my phone and address is all on record with the bank
- My 16 digit card number
- Bank branch where I opened the account
- If I have business and/or personal accounts
- If my card was a debit or credit card
- The colour of my undercrackers (OK, I made this one up!)
- The current balance of my account
- How much was the last transaction for
- Who was my last transaction with (Coinbase)
- Had I transacted with this company before
- Do I transact with this company on a regular basis
At this point I stopped her and told her it was none of her business who or what I spend my money on. I detected a different tone and tact when I mentioned Coinbase.
Wrong answer! She then informed me my account was frozen and I could not draw any funds whatsoever from it.
To unfreeze my account all I had to do was pop into my local branch and produce my passport.
I explained that the last time I was in London, over two years ago, I noticed my local branch in Shoreditch had closed and besides, I live in Thailand and had no intention of traveling back to the UK.
At this point she couldn’t compute anymore and kept repeating that I could go to any branch and produce my passport as ID even though I’d answered a dozen questions correctly to verify who I say I am.
Computer says ‘No’, good little NPC.
After wasting a good 45 minutes of my life on this nonsense she said I could escalate the situation to someone in ‘Complaints’.
I told her to educate herself about AI, Blockchain and cryptocurrency and start looking for a new job as huge disruptions are coming to the banking industry.
I don’t think she will take my advice. She did however cut me off. So I called ‘Complaints’.
The nice lady in ‘Complaints’ listened to my story and was communicating by email to the first lady in ‘Fraud’. Fraud lady kept on repeating her mantra “Go branch, produce passport”.
Fraud lady was getting as miffed as I was and kept telling Fraud lady “He’s in THAILAND”.
They then decided I should FAX my passport to them. A what? I had to check my calendar to see if it was 1989. Nope… Huston we have a problem here!
(I waited 20 minutes for Complaints lady to find a fax number at any local branch of Natwest).
A long story short I took my passport copy to my local Thai bank and asked them to stamp it, have an official sign it and fax it to NatWest.
Two out of 3 aint bad but not good enough. The bank wouldn’t fax it. I spent a morning running round town desperately seeking out a fax machine. Nothing, not even the local Telecom company had one. I was well and truly faxed!
“You No Got eMail?”
I reached out to my sister-in-law, an accountant in Bangkok. Her office didn’t have a fax. Of course they don’t it’s 2019 and we have a thing called email. Have you heard about it?
Email, Fax – Fax Email! Did you know there are services online whereby you can send a fax via your Gmail? I didn’t, but I do now!
So I signed up and sent the Fax via email, got confirmation it had gone through and waited for the confirmation call from Complaints lady.
A day went by and nothing! So I called her.
After speaking with 3 people and answering multiple security questions for each of them, I found out Complaints lady wasn’t available but she would call me back that day… she didn’t.
I waited 24 hours by the phone and no call. NatWest your breaking my faxing heart!
I called again and after speaking with 3 people and answering more multiple security questions for each of them, I was handed over to Complaints lady #2.
This time I prepared for the long haul. Sitting comfortably with a cup of tea and some delightful salmon and cucumber sandwiches, I told her my story from the start to where we currently are.
To my astonishment, she agreed I could send my official Thai bank seal of approval copy of my passport by email. EMAIL no less! We’re back in the future Doc!
Twenty-four hours later, Complaints lady #1 called me, my heart skipped a beat and she informed me she had received my passport and my account was now unfrozen.
I was crying, my dog was howling and poured myself a rather large glass of red wine.
In the future (the future is now), all this bullshit will be avoided. Security, KYC and international transactions will all be processed via the Blockchain, without a fuckin’ Fax in sight. (Are they collectables?)
Is Leaving Money in the Bank Safe?
So at the beginning of this blog post I asked “If you got money in the bank, do you think it’s safe?” Well do you?
China has imposed currency outflows. I do a lot of business in the US and there’s nearly always an issue with currency leaving America to Singapore where we bank (It’s the safest place on earth to do traditional banking).
People used to think banks were a safe place to leave their money but as they print more and inflate the currency to nothing, (along with interest rates) the reality is, it’s the last place you want to have your wealth parked.
As more people enter the crypto space and take control of their own finances, the less fiat is sloshed around the system and this will hopefully hasten its demise so we can live a freer life without the banksters acting like a reverse Robin Hood and hoovering up our every last cent.
Who are the banks to decide what we spend our hard earned money money on? Cryptocurrency isn’t illegal, it’s math! Ironically, central bank inflation is theft.
PS. Fax the Banks
Natwest don’t appear to be a crypto friendly bank, so I plan to empty that account and buy Bitcoin. You may want to do the same. Fax the Banks.
UPDATE: It’s now mid June and three weeks have passed since I first made an attempt to buy Bitcoin with fiat currency from my seasoned Natwest debit card.
Today I made multiple attempts to buy £1500 worth of Bitcoin with the same Natwest debit card. Mid way through the transaction, it gets cancelled. I call the banks, answer a dozen security questions. “Everything should be fine now”, they tell me. It’s not!
On the 3rd call of the day I’m told I won’t be able to buy Bitcoin on my debit card (the card vanishes from my Coinbase account). “Bitcoin is a scam and 98% of transactions on Coinbase are fraud” Natwest tell me. Oh really! Coinbase is a legal and regulated company but Natwest admitted they prevent us from transacting with them. This is an abuse of power.
The banks are cutting us off from our ability to invest in Bitcoin. They will do whatever they have to do to hold on to there financial monopoly.
I resort to making a deposit from Natwest to Coinbase. This will take a minimum of 5 business days before I know if I’m successful at liberating my fiat currency from the dirty rotten banksters.
It’s ironic of course that I have to tick the ‘Scam Warning’ box when the biggest scam in the history of the world is central banks and fractional reserve banking.
#faxthebanks If you enjoyed this story, please tip me a few Satoshi here: 18Q5ig3PULu6DeFvNwU9jtwnvjdRC6MfTf
It will go towards the investment of a fax machine just as soon as I can hit the target on the time machine fund.
Fax the Banks