On Monday, December 11, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales used X (formerly Twitter) to attack Bitcoin (Bitcoin) claimed that although many users have lost their Bitcoins due to the loss of their wallet passwords, he would never lose the money in his bank account.
Wales’ comments did not go down well with the broader Bitcoin and crypto community, which lashed out at the Wikipedia co-founder for his reliance on donations to run day-to-day operations.
In his post named “No, actually it didn’t happen because the banks were working and Bitcoin wasn’t.”
I forgot my bank password and lost all my net worth. No, actually that didn’t happen because banks work but Bitcoin doesn’t.
— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) December 10, 2023
The Bitcoin community blasted the Wikipedia co-founder for unnecessarily targeting the asset. Users reminded Wales that banks, while functional, do not serve everyone, and many people around the world do not have access to financial services.
Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation, told Wales that banks function properly in countries where the rule of law exists and currencies are strong. He added that only one billion people out of a world population of eight billion have access to banking services.
As long as you live in a country with the rule of law and a strong currency, banks work properly. So maybe ~1 billion out of 8 billion people are OK. And they may not be of much use if you criticize the government or express provocative views.
— Alex Gladstein ⚡ (@gladstein) December 10, 2023
Lyn Alden, founder of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy, reminded that even those with bank accounts are not always safe, citing the example of a Lebanese doctor who lost 95 percent of his savings due to hyperinflation.
One of the most heartbreaking emails I received was from a Lebanese doctor who lost 95% of his net worth to hyperinflation because he kept it in banks/currency.
They were too busy being doctors rather than hands-on investors, assuming the money was safe.
— Lyn Alden (@LynAldenContact) December 10, 2023
Bitcoin supporters like Samson Mow went on the offensive, reminding the Wikipedia co-founder: your company’s statusIts survival depends on donations. Mow argued: Wikipedia “If he had bought Bitcoin a few years ago as I suggested, he wouldn’t have had to constantly beg for donations every year.”
Other users pointed out the centralization of the banking system and reiterated that it was not available to everyone.
Banks are doing great, it’s about asset ownership and with that comes more responsibility pic.twitter.com/voe65OExcZ
— Lauren Sieckmann (@LaurenSieckmann) December 11, 2023
Danny Scott, CEO of Coin Corner exchange, told Wales he was comparing two different things. In fact, he noted that the scenario is closer to the one where a user who forgets the password to his account at an exchange, like at a bank, can reset his password. Added: “A better example would be physically storing cash, but if you lose it there’s nothing you can do about it, just like Bitcoin.”
You are comparing 2 different things
This scenario is more like forgetting the password to a Bitcoin exchange; In this case, you can reset your password like a bank.
A better example would be to physically store cash yourself, but you lose it and it’s gone, just like Bitcoin.
— Danny Scott ⚡ (@CoinCornerDanny) December 10, 2023
Translation by Walter Rizzo