One of the greatest arguments that Bitcoin opposers including Donald Trump and legacy financial institutions have against the leading cryptocurrency is that its anonymous nature makes bad actors prefer it as a means of conducting crime than fiat.
While that claim is not entirely false, it is hard-hitting to think that the allegations against Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, in general, is more filled with hypocrisy than it is not.
According to a Financial Times report on Monday, EU banks, primarily Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays now have to pay at least £50 billion ($61.7 billion) for crimes that were committed years before Bitcoin was invented.
Between the late 1990s and early 2000s, Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC, and other EU banks aggressively sold 45 million payment protection insurance (PPI) policies to unsuspecting customers who trusted the bank.
Although these policies were supposed to help these customers continue servicing loans and credit card debts if they fell ill or lost their jobs, banks allegedly exploited a lack of public knowledge regarding the policies to sell to even those who did not know they were buying it. Fairly, the legal process uncovered the debacle allowing affected customers to make claims.
However, while Lloyds, for instance, had wanted to set aside £1.2bn-£1.8bn to enforce a payback, the deadline for claim submission late last month saw several affected persons numbering hundreds of thousands make a claim.
Now, Lloyds must spend £22bn to payback these victims who trusted the banks while Barclays, HSBC, and others such as Royal Bank of Scotland, CYBG and the Co-operative Bank must pay similar higher figures.
Although it is unclear at the moment the exact number of claims that these firms received at the close of the deadline, the figures are definitely high since Barclays reported “a higher than expected volume of PPI claims,” while Lloyds was receiving 70,000 claims a week at the start of the year.
Does Bitcoin Facilitate more Financial Crime than Banks?
Arguably, the huge sum that these EU banks have to pay for a crime committed years before Bitcoin came onboard, calls to mind the debate on whether the cryptocurrency is a primary crime facilitator than the existing financial system.
As Coinfomania reported recently, more dollar is laundered every day than Bitcoin while the whopping $61.7 billion which the affected banks must pay back to those they were supposed to protect, is roughly one-third of Bitcoin’s current market cap ($183 billion).
Putting those facts into perspective appears to confirm that the legacy financial system still holds an upper hand on Bitcoin when it comes to facilitating crimes, and the cryptocurrency still has a long way to go if it will catch up on that front.