Saturday, July 29, 2017

Well That Was Fast: "EU Proposes Account Freezes to Halt Bank Runs"

Just yesterday the Financial Times' Izabella Kaminska posed an interesting headline question at FT Alphaville:

Imagine if you received this note from your bank?
A message from bitcoin wallet provider Cryptopay to its customers, with our emphasis:
The SegWit/Soft Fork countdown has begun and the whole Bitcoin community is preparing for the ensuing protocol update on August 1st.

What does this mean?

The Bitcoin community (miners, main holders etc.) has developed two possible scenarios to increase the network efficiency. All of them assume that Segregated Witness will be adapted. You can read more technical details about the possible outcomes of both scenarios in our recent article.

As usual, we take the safety of your funds as our top priority. Therefore to protect them, we’re going to suspend all bitcoin deposits and withdrawals on 31 July 2017 at 23:00 hrs UTC.

Cryptopay will become fully functional when we deem it completely safe....MORE
Today we read at Reuters::

EU explores account freezes to prevent runs at failing banks
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union states are considering measures which would allow them to temporarily stop people withdrawing money from their accounts to prevent bank runs, an EU document reviewed by Reuters revealed. 

The move is aimed at helping rescue lenders that are deemed failing or likely to fail, but critics say it could hit confidence and might even hasten withdrawals at the first rumors of a bank being in trouble. 

The proposal, which has been in the works since the beginning of this year, comes less than two months after a run on deposits at Banco Popular contributed to the collapse of the Spanish lender.
It also come amid a bitter wrangle among European countries over how to deal with troubled banks, roughly a decade after a financial crash that required the European Central Bank to print billions of euros to prevent a prolonged economic slump. 

Giving supervisors the power to temporarily block bank accounts at ailing lenders is "a feasible option," a paper prepared by the Estonian presidency of the EU said, acknowledging that member states were divided on the issue....MORE
HT: Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis who has some additional thoughts.