Bitcoin Q&A: How do banks react to Bitcoin? – The Five Stages of Grief

[AUDIENCE] What do you foresee will be the most
likely reactions of incumbents, banks and regulators?
[ANDREAS] I have done a talk about
that called “The Five Stages of Grief.”
It starts with denial: “Clearly, this is a silly technology
that cannot possibly work. Bitcoin will be dead soon.”
That [stage] lasted for the first three years of Bitcoin.
Then it switches to anger: “This is not correct. It must
be stopped. Make it illegal. Ban it. Only criminals use it.”
That lasted for about a year and didn’t work either.
Then we went to the third stage of grief, bargaining:
“Bitcoin is not that interesting. Blockchains are really
interesting. [We should] do ‘blockchain,’ without…
any of the things Bitcoin does?
Maybe we can keep all of the control and power.”
“Do ‘blockchain’ and that way we won’t be disrupted.”
That stage [has] been [ongoing] since the
middle of 2014 until today. It will not work.
Bitcoin is interesting because it is open, decentralized,
uncensorable, immutable, and unforgeable.
You can get some advantages with
blockchains, but not all of those advantages.
Then they will go to depression: “Aww, but
we had such a good run for two centuries.”
“Why is everyone taking away our business now?
Why do young people not want to only bank…
Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm, with high fees?
Why do they want all these cryptocurrencies instead?”
Cryptocurrencies work twenty-four
hours per day. “And that is unfair!”
Finally, acceptance. I am hoping that
the banking industry will realize that,
if you want to reach customers and make this an
economy not of two or three billion billion people,
the most financially privileged people, but make it
global with seven and a half billion human beings,
then Bitcoin is a solution and not a problem.
It is a promise, not a threat. Then we all win.

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