As panic and uncertainty mount due to the coronavirus, Central Bank of Egypt has become the latest country to limit bank withdrawals. Individuals can now only take out a maximum of $635 per day from their bank and just $317 from ATMs. Bitcoin fixes this.
Central Bank of Egypt and other Banks Limit Cash Withdrawals
According to the New York Times on Sunday, Central Bank of Egypt has instructed banks across the country to apply temporary daily withdrawal limits and deposits.
This latest move is meant to control inflation in the country and prevent citizens from hoarding cash during the pandemic.
The daily limit for individuals has been dropped to 10K Egyptian pounds ($635) at bank branches and 50,000 pounds ($3,100) for companies. Only businesses that need to withdraw money to pay their employees will be exempt from the limits.
The restrictions come after a wave of mass withdrawals from banks in the country. Central bank governor Tarek Amer stated on Sunday that as much as 30 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.91 billion) were taken out of banks in the last three weeks. He said:
We found that individuals are withdrawing money from the banks although they did not need it … they withdrew 30 billion pounds in the past three weeks. We want some discipline. We live in a society and we have to think of others.
Bitcoin Fixes This
As Bitcoin advocate Vis pointed out on Twitter:
This is why Bitcoin was created
Egypt’s registered cases of coronavirus are currently just under 800. However, the country’s health service is vastly unprepared to treat a mass epidemic. Moreover, Egypt has a propensity for high inflation which could deepen the crisis further. According to sources cited in the article:
This could reduce hoarding and panic buying and contain prices
Perhaps it could. But it boils down to the same problem that is as old as banking institutions itself. If someone can restrict your money, it’s not your money.
No one can limit your Bitcoin. No central banker can step in and decide how much you choose to transact. As we’re starting to see from Cairo to New York, that is most certainly not the case with fiat.