BBVA, Spain’s second largest bank, sparked protests in Madrid following the bank’s decision to block thousands of accounts belonging to Chinese nationals. The protestors claim the bank blocked their accounts based on money laundering regulations.
According to a report by Reuters, Yunajie Chen, an accountant who has been a BBVA client for over six years says,
“We gathered here to demand equality because we are ordinary citizens. I work in a consultancy office and I don’t have suspicious transactions.”
The Chinese Association in Spain (ACHE) reports that 4,000 to 5,000 people have had their accounts blocked by BBVA.
On Friday Chinese protestors carried signs outside of BBVA’s main branch in Madrid, accusing banking officials of cutting off their salaries and making it impossible for mothers to feed their children.
Despite a recent report issued by Spain’s central bank Banco de España (BDE) stating that Bitcoin is an inefficient payment network, crypto fund managers say Bitcoin is proving itself to be an attractive asset as a global reserve currency.
Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of BKCM, a digital currency investment firm, says geopolitical tensions will continue to shine a light on Bitcoin. Speaking to Cointelegraph Kelly says,
“In 2019, if I’m looking at it, the focus will be on the currency – Bitcoin, Litecoin, some of those – because we have quite a bit of geopolitical tension in the world.”
“We’re starting to see some global macro players use Bitcoin as an alternative to their gold position or as a way to hedge against fiat currency fluctuations and volatility.”
Anthony Pompliano, founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital, an investment firm focused on blockchain tech and digital assets for institutional clients, says Bitcoin is on the road to becoming the global reserve currency.
“Sovereign nations are already settling transactions in Bitcoin. Don’t blink. Bitcoin is becoming the global reserve currency right before our eyes.”
Its rise is expected to follow the increasing weaponization of fiat currencies, either through government sanctions or overreaching banks that unilaterally decide to pull the plug on their customers – whenever they see fit.
Pompliano says financial institutions will inadvertently encourage Bitcoin adoption.
The Spanish bank BBVA has frozen the bank accounts of hundreds of Chinese without warning.
The legacy financial institutions are doing more to help the adoption of Bitcoin than they realize.
Long Bitcoin, Short the Bankers!
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) February 15, 2019
Reuters reports that BBVA has declined to comment on specific cases but says it does not discriminate against its clients.