When the former chief financial officer of PayPal, Roelof Botha, took to Twitter to express his ire at being locked out of his bank account by Bank of America, there was no irony lost within the cryptocurrency community.
Not only was it poignant to see how much centralized power a bank can wield over an individual’s finances, it came at a time when PayPal also decided to flex its muscle in regard to payments being made for Pornhub stars.
Botha had his bank account unceremoniously shut after 20 years of being their customer; there was also no explanation given. What was mentioned was Botha’s banking relationship. This could amount to how he used and functioned with his banking account, doing something the banks did not approve of.
This, in itself, is a hotly contested area of control vs. liberty. With banks having control over one’s money, it shines a light on how useful and applicable Bitcoin can be in times like this. In fact, it even saw a number of heavy-hitting cryptocurrency commentators join in on Botha’s banking misery.
Some were ready to take swipes at Botha because of PayPal’s own control policies with regard to how individuals use their PayPal accounts. As mentioned, this was highlighted in PayPal’s recent decision to ban the use of its platform for payment made to Pornhub stars.
Others, such as Civic CEO Vinny Lingham quizzed Botha if he bought any Bitcoin following what happened. Venture capitalist, Adam Draper, also urged Botha rather to buy Bitcoin.
Indeed, while Bitcoin has its own issues with regards to making it to the mainstream, if Botha had been strong his money in Bitcoin rather than a bank, there would be none of these types of issues to deal with.
The idea of keeping one’s private keys means keeping one’s own money is central to Bitcoin and its individual financial empowerment. For Botha, he was stung by the centralized control of banks but also appeared to miss the irony of what his previous company used to do as well.