With negative interest rates becoming a trend in most countries and inflation rates rising, bank services are not a viable and practical option for storing money.
US-based consumers are faced with substantially high overdraft as well as monthly ATM and NSF fees. Millions of Americans pay over $4.7 bln annually, at $30 a month per account, to keep bank and checking accounts open.
Most banks in the US charge users $50 to open an account, $30 to leave an account open and $35 in NSF fees. For an average American consumer to have an account open for an entire year, it would cost at least $410.
Currently, the interest rate of the Federal Reserve is 0.5 percent, which is close to a zero interest rate. Other countries, including Sweden and Switzerland, have already implemented negative interest rates, with Switzerland charging users -1.31 percent.
In Switzerland, bank fees are quite similar to that of the US. It would cost at least $410 in addition to the negative interest rate both its central and commercial banks charge. Thus, if a consumer had $50,000 in a Swiss bank account, $410 will deducted on top of the $655 resulting from the interest rate. Ultimately, with a negative interest rate, it would cost consumers close to $1,100 per year to keep a $50,000 bank account open.
Bitcoin wallets as alternative
Because of the international regulations established by the US, Swiss bank account holders are no longer excluded from tax obligations. Swiss banks cannot guarantee full privacy and are required to give both the US and other neighboring European countries sensitive financial data of its consumers on demand.
Considering the substantially large fees imposed by central and commercial banks in the US, it would be impractical to trust a financial institution to store money. More importantly, if and when the Federal Reserve begins to implement a negative interest rate, the fees will grow larger each year.
Despite the volatility of Bitcoin, storing money in Bitcoin wallets is by far a safer investment method for any traders, investors and consumers. With high liquidity and stabilized global exchange rates, users can withdraw cash at their will, or just rely on third party platforms like Xapo that offers Bitcoin debit cards to spend Bitcoin anywhere Visa is accepted.