The four main banks of bitcoin and “crypto” are Signature, Prime Trust, Silvergate, and Silicon Valley Bank. Prime Trust does not custody funds themselves but rather maintains deposit accounts at BMO Harris Bank, Cross River, Lexicon Bank, MVB Bank, and Signature Bank. Silvergate and Silicon Valley Bank have already stopped withdrawals. More banks will go down before the chaos stops. None of them have sufficient reserves to meet withdrawals.
Bitcoin gives us all the ability to opt out of a system that has massive layers of counterparty risk built in, years of cheap money and broken incentives have layered risk on top of risk throughout the entire global economy. If you thought the FTX bank run was painful to watch, I have bad news for you: every major bank in the world is fractional reserve. Bitcoin held in self custody is unique in its lack of counterparty risk, as global market chaos unwinds this will become much more obvious.
The rules of bitcoin are extremely hard to change by design. Anyone can access the network directly without a trusted third party by using their own node. Owning more bitcoin does not give you more control over the network with all participants on equal footing.
- money that is not controlled by a company or government
- money that can be spent or saved without permission
- money that is provably scarce and should increase in purchasing power with adoption
Bitcoin is money without trust. Whether you are a nation state, corporation, or an individual, you can use bitcoin to spend or save without permission. Social media will accelerate the already deteriorating trust in our institutions and as this trust continues to crumble the value of trust minimized money will become obvious. As adoption increases so should the purchasing power of bitcoin.
A quick note on "stablecoins," such as USDC - it is important to remember that they rely on trusted custodians. They have the same risk as funds held directly in bank accounts with additional counterparty risk on top. The trusted custodians can be pressured by gov, exit scam, or caught up in fraud. Funds can and will be frozen at will. This is a distinctly different trust model than bitcoin, which is a native bearer token that does not rely on any centralized entity or custodian.
Most bitcoin exchanges have exposure to these failing banks. Expect more chaos and confusion as this all unwinds. Withdraw any bitcoin to your own wallet ASAP.
Simple Self Custody Guide: https://werunbtc.com/muun
More Secure Cold Storage Guide: https://werunbtc.com/coldcard
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