One of the strong points for decentralized money and payment systems like Bitcoin is the fact that the network has been up since inception (barring a few hiccups), and never goes offline.
Holidays and service disruption caused by the centralized distribution of customer information and resources means that legacy financial services will always struggle to match the efficiency of bitcoin on a global scale.
One such situation came to life on Monday, after Nigerian customers of famous African bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank) began to complain on social media and other channels that they’re unable to use the bank’s mobile app for transactions.
The USSD option for transactions outside of the app was also not working, leaving users stuck with no way to move their funds throughout the day and many businesses suffering as a result.
A flood of comments forced GT Bank to issue a statement on the development, apologizing to users, and even extending closure times for its branches nationwide to meet pending customer transaction requests.
Shortly after, the bank said in a follow-up that the problem had been restored. But at press time, many users still complain about not being able to access the mobile and USSD options, meaning they’re still locked away from their funds.
Fat lie. I still can’t sign into my mobile app. #737 transactions also not going through. In my 13 years with @gtbank, today has got to be the worst day.
— Raphael Edem (@raphedem1) January 20, 2020
As one affected customer further noted, it is improbable that the bank will compensate users for the disruption in service.
You people should better compensate we customers oooo, you don’t know how many pple got stranded, starved, or even died as a result of your downtime… God would judge you pple ooo @gtbank
— sensei_tobi (Anonymous) (@sensei_tobi) January 20, 2020
Meanwhile, although one might want to argue that the downtime at GT Bank is peculiar to African financial institutions, Coinfomania had, in the past, reported a similar disruption in service at the popular U.S financial institution, Bank of America.
Time for a Switch?
Understandably, it could still take a longer time for the bank-crypto flipping to happen, even though the recent development favors decentralized systems like Bitcoin more than banks.
In the past, we’ve also reported another significant benefit of cryptocurrencies, including users being able to move large amounts of money across borders without censorship and for ridiculously low fees when compared with banks.
As internet users begin to search for alternative ways to solve downtime issues suffered by their banks, there’s a big chance that they’d find Bitcoin and other decentralized cryptocurrencies out there as viable solutions.