BBVA and Bitcoin: What is the plan?

One of the most important players in the Spanish banking industry has jumped on the bandwagon. Will other banks follow?

It’s already official.
BBVA is entering the Bitcoin space. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, or better known as BBVA, is the second largest bank in Spain, a leading member of the Ibex 35, and a well-known name in Latin America. Well, it now offers Bitcoin buying and selling and custody services through its subsidiary in Switzerland. It’s certainly a bold move, but one that begins very cautiously. This is a first step that could be spread to his other affiliates. And other Spanish banks might be tempted to follow their colleague. Bitcoin, the decentralized currency created to dispense with banks, is becoming a trend among banks.

The mere fact of launching the service through its subsidiary in Switzerland is extremely revealing. BBVA Switzerland specializes in private banking. This means that the service is mainly aimed at high net worth individuals and financial institutions. In other words, the target is not precisely the cypherpunk or anacocapitalist clientele. Here we’re talking about Bitcoin Formula review the investment asset. And custody services are extremely important. In these cases, it’s not a very good idea to have millions of dollars in a hardware portfolio with the private key written down on some paper. Many require the support of an institution, insurance, guarantees, the protection of a judicial system, the endorsement of a government, etc.

Reasons to get on the bus: Why buy Bitcoin?

This is when fanaticism cannot cloud our mind. It’s certainly not the same to have all our savings in a national bank controlled by some third world dictator as it is to be responsible for an international hedge fund managing the money of thousands of people. There are institutions that require a certain formality in order to function. The traditional investor does not want to be dealing with hacking, private keys and technicalities. In most cases, placing our assets under the custody of an intermediary has great benefits. To begin with, it gives us credibility and access to credit.

If Bitcoin wants to grow, it must stop being a niche. In the early days, it was very easy to create a homogeneous group that held on to well-defined ideals. Fanaticism is typical of small groups, because it’s relatively easy to create a dichotomy between us and the world. We are the saved and the world is the enemy. But radicalism is difficult to maintain in larger, heteronomous groups. In the past, the average bitcoiner was a man, young, American or Asian, libertarian, and proteco. It is not causal that this group is the same group prone to fall into extremism, believe in conspiracy theories and belong to a cult. These are the kings of Twitter. Changing the world one tweet at a time.

Run for your life!

Now, many good things start as a niche. But growth transforms. I mean the painful step of being a small group and becoming a much larger group. That is, the complications of being a primitive church to become the official religion of the Empire. The early Christians were lion meat. They were a persecuted minority of slaves and poor artisans. Then, the Emperor Constantine arrived and changed everything. The politicians took power. How did the original Christians feel about this transition? Well, very badly. Many retreat to the deserts to escape the „corruption of the world. This is the trauma of change.

Why will the old guard’s crusade against the middlemen fail?

Of course it is ironic that a religion based on a messiah that would free the poor from Roman oppression should become the official religion of the Empire. It is equally ironic that an asset created to be able to dispense with the intermediaries finds itself invaded by the intermediaries. The small group is warm, uniform and strict. The large group is cold, diverse and flexible. But that’s life. Ironic. Welcome to the real world.

Who controls Bitcoin? Well, you don’t know. A computer network. But who’s responsible? Where are they? Who are they? A code? While the cypherpunks have ingenious answers to all of these questions, the general public doesn’t always share the same enthusiasm for a network that’s controlled by outsiders and not accountable to any government authority. It all sounds like the Wild West. Which, without a doubt, is poetry to anarchists and libertarians. But we must understand that not everyone is part of this niche. The world, by definition, has more conventional ideas. The common investor needs concrete things. The name of the responsible. An address. A government. A judicial system. BBVA Switzerland? That is enough. That’s good.