“Can’t wait to see you become obsolete.” “Shame on you.” “Third class bank with 3rd grade facilities.” “Fu)k you.” “Dinosaur banks hegemony will end soon.”
Those are just some of the latest comments on a tweet sent out in 2013 by India’s biggest commercial bank, Kotak Bank. Back then they said on the 23rd of November 2013, at the hight of the then bitcoin “bubble,” to their circa 200,000 followers:
“Bitcoin is an innovative and new kind of digital money that can be exchanged for hard cash, with no central authority or banks.”
Now, more than five years on, they are threatening customers they courted with bank account closures. According to reports, this is what they’re sending out:
India’s other major bank, HDFC Bank, is likewise sending threatening emails to users that buy cryptos, with a Central Bank of India diktat used as justification as Indian commercial banks are claiming they have been ordered to not serve anyone who buys crypto.
Just what’s the difference between commercial banks and the central bank, however, is not very clear with central banks initially created after big merchants joined forces together to handle finances and accounting.
Central banks claim they are independent from the elected, and thus the people, but there are suggestions the American Central Bank, Fed, is partially owned by commercial banks.
A central bank therefore can perhaps best be seen as a private-public hybrid. Their primary task is the management of their own national fiat money, which they do so in very close collaboration with commercial banks while claiming the elected have no right to interfere.
The elected do have some oversight in that they can appoint Central Bank board members, but just how much power the people have over our own money can best be shown by the Bank of England having a Canadian in charge.
Arguably therefore Kotak and other commercial banks can’t so easily excuse themselves. Nor can they excuse their exercise of ownership over people’s own money as they are doing here in a country where cryptos are not illegal.
Some of you have read 1984. One of the most memorable moment is when the hero, after being tortured, goes on TV or signs some declaration to say he was wrong about the party. The party is good, they are right, their ideology is the best one, and so on.
Here the declaration of shame from this ostensible democracy:
We understand China to some degree. They authoritarians, they never claimed otherwise. It’s just how they do things there, their business, but India.
India claims to be a democracy. Claims to love freedom. From action however we are seeing that is not so.
Which is quite a shame. There could have been very nice stories about Indian beaches and cryptonians having fun. About innovation. About a new world. Fairer, better. Instead…
Why you stand and watch this Narendra Damodardas Modi? Your hair so white. Your mind 69. But that’s no excuse to block the young.
The only reason thus that can be uttered is cowardice, and a country that appears to have no civil society, no proper representation, no will to be free.
Harsh, but even in China we have not seen people dragged to their bank branches to sign such shameful “consent form.”