Thursday, December 9

“Banks must be allowed to work with Bitcoin,” says US Federal agency president

Jelena McWilliams, president of the FDIC government agency responsible for guaranteeing bank deposits, said in an interview with Reuters that it is necessary to allow banks to enter the cryptocurrency sector.

Jelena’s life experience is one of the main reasons for her position in favor of cryptocurrencies and the innovation they bring. Three decades ago, she experienced the difficulty of making international transfers, which are still very precarious today.

According to Jelena, this evolution of shipments and payments will occur with or without the help of banks and governments. Now the state must decide whether it wants to have some control, and profit, over it or else let companies exploit this niche.

The story of Jelena McWilliams

In speech during the Money 20/20, the biggest global event of fintech, Jelena told a little of its history and the reasons why it is necessary that government laws leave the sector open to innovations.

Jelena says that she was born in Yugoslavia and immigrated to the US thirty years ago with just $500 in her pocket, needing to work various jobs, selling cars and knives, as well as cleaning houses and picking up alternate hours at a movie store.

Part of the money earned was then sent to his family in Yugoslavia, which was going through a period of hyperinflation. The current FDIC president explains that sending money back then was difficult and that money was often stolen on the way.

Because of her history, Jelena believes that the US government should not create laws that prohibit innovation in the cryptocurrency industry. After all, sending Bitcoin to other countries is now the cheapest and fastest way to make international shipments.

With or without banks, it’s happening

In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Jelena argued that the government must allow banks to work with Bitcoin. Saying that this innovation will happen with or without them, and the second way the government will have no control.

“If we don’t bring this activity inside the banks, it will develop outside the banks. Federal regulators will not be able to regulate it.”

Continuing, she explained that it is necessary to offer a way for banks to take custody of cryptocurrencies, as well as use them as a form of guarantee.

Today more than half of the biggest banks are already exposed to cryptocurrencies in some form, and this percentage is even higher if we exclude Chinese banks from the equation. Providing regulatory clarity will allow them to offer more options to their customers, as well as improve their services due to competition.