This past week i had my UK Bank account frozen without warning. I realised after a purchase at McDonalds was declined and shortly after i was unable to log into my online banking. After phoning Barclays, i was informed that:
- My account was ‘in review’
- No, i could not access my account or money
- No, they could not tell me why this was happening
- The review could take up to 3 weeks
- I had no choice but to accept it as it’s in their terms and conditions that they can do this
I was shocked. I understand the many reasons for Bitcoin including the idea that you alone control your money and no-one can restrict you, take it or control it without your permission. The benefits if this are obvious when you think of far flung totalitarian states, the types of places that regularly censor and punish their citizens for disobedience.
But it had never occurred to me that i would experience this myself living in the UK. For the first time in my life, i had been cut off from MY money and MY bank account and there wasn’t a thing i could do about it. I started getting email notifications that some of my regular payments had failed. Thankfully i had family i could borrow money from to pay for food, fuel etc.
I will learn from this and i urge others to consider the implications if this were to happen to them. A short checklist of things you might want to consider:
- Have a spare bank current account
- Do not keep all fiat savings in with one bank
- Keep a small amount of fiat cash available
- Keep some fiat savings in a different country
- If buying cryptocurrency, do not use your primary bank account to do so
- NYKNYC – Not your keys, not your coin. Learn how to take safe self custody of your Bitcoin. Consider if you were frozen out of Coinbase or other crypto exchange account
Bottom line: Bitcoin really is the ‘peoples money’ and the only money you will only every truly own yourself.