Tag Archives: banks

The Count of Anti-Crypto

  1. The underlying technology, blockchain, might have uses but a currency isn’t it
  2. Many crypto experts were surprised when governments said that profits from trading in digital currencies were taxable in the same way that as any other capital gains. Why would this be a surprise?
  3. They also claim that it’s great because it’s decentralised. Except, a few companies do a vast percentage of all business meaning that in reality it’s not very well distributed
  4. Much of traditional financial services is not centralised either. There’s no “exchange” for currency trading, for example
  5. The lack of regulation in crypto is considered an advantage, right until the point that one of the few exchanges (see above point about decentralisation) is in trouble and stops accepting sell orders. Regulation is there for a reason
  6. Decentralisation is supposed to democratise trading. Except, trading in crypto is surprisingly expensive. And, just like traditional finance, quickly gets complicated
  7. And it’s slow
  8. Many of crypto’s biggest promoters are economically illiterate
  9. It’s basically a pyramid scheme
  10. Many crypto “experts” claim that it’s possible to reduce the risk of transactions with certain complications. They tend not to use the word “hedging” which is what this is. It’s something that the “old-fashioned” financial services companies have been doing for ever
  11. It’s almost like they don’t understand traditional financial markets
  12. They says it’s progressive and about freedom, but it entrenches existing hierarchies, if anything, more effectively than the existing systems
  13. Except for the use of blockchain, there’s not a lot that’s new. For traditional financial services, regulation means that the worst scams are banned for retail inventors. The “Wild West” of crypto isn’t a feature
  14. And no, this piece is not intended as a defence of the traditional financial services companies or their regulators. They are far from ideal

Digital Age

This post is a rant. I can offer no solutions, no help. Some sympathy perhaps but that’s not terribly useful.

The story: we’re moving house. So we need to deal with lawyers and mortgage companies. For sound reasons, they both need to prove that we’re not laundering money.

Frankly, until I had to do a number of anti-money laundering courses at work I would have had no idea how to launder money. I’d be stuck like the characters in Office Space looking up the definition in a dictionary. Or, more to the point, looking it up online.

We’re not laundering money in case there was any doubt. But these days it’s really tricky to prove otherwise.

They ask for a record of your funds that is less than three months old, official and with your name, account number and address shown. This doesn’t sound unreasonable until you actually look in your files.

My bank doesn’t send me statements. The online version does not include my address. I can change my address but I can see no record of my current one.

My investments statement shows all the required details but they only send them once a year, so for three-quarters of the year they are not suitable. The numbers are available online but include none of the details and no date.

Only one of the financial services companies that I use has monthly statements with all the details they ask for. Of course, that’s the account that I don’t really need for this transaction.

Much of what I do is online these days, much at the behest of the same banks that make this whole process so complicated. Can they not see that their own customers are unable to provide the details that they are legally required to obtain?

My delicious.com bookmarks for January 25th through January 27th


Citi Sign

This weeks PhotoFriday theme is “Disastrous.” Here is my entry.

I’m not sure whether it’s my imagination or my photo library that ran dry for this theme, but I couldn’t find a great image. Instead, find this more comedy picture. I’ve generally found Citi’s service to be disastrous.

This picture was taken in San Francisco, California.

Please also vote for my entry in last weeks challenge, “Mountain.” I’m entry number 70.

My del.icio.us bookmarks for January 1st through January 3rd

  • Banking disaster man honored by the Queen – The man who lost the personal data of 25mm people is rewarded with a CBE. Does that make any kind of sense? Anywhere other than the civil service he’d lose his job!
  • Paris and Berlin ban cafe smoking – Definite progress. Does the reference to Nazi policies in Germany prove that Godwins Law (“As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”) also applies to the real world?
  • The Electric Car Conspiracy … that never was – Interesting film. Given the spread of Smart cars here I have to think that there would be consumer demand for electric cars, which only leaves the conspiracy…