A new investigation by the undercover reporting group Project Veritas alleges that Chase Bank intentionally “de-banks” some clients based on their political stances and affiliations. The investigation was sparked when Enrique Tarrio found his Chase accounts disabled for no apparently reason. Tarrio runs an online store that sells “provocative conservative merchandise.”
It seems it’s not just the tech and social media giants you are engaging in censorship. Could cryptocurrency offer an alternative for not just the un-banked, but the de-banked as well?
The Skinny on Project Veritas
Project Veritas, led by James O’Keefe, has often made major headlines in recent years. They are best known for their unique brand of undercover reporting, wherein they get insiders to admit to committing all sorts of dastardly deeds.
Some examples include a recent investigation into Twitter where employees admitted that they engaged in ideologically motivated banning, shadow banning, and so-called “de-boosting”. Twitter executives later denied this, and said that the individuals on camera did not speak for the company.
Project Veritas is a somewhat divisive entity, however, and not everyone agrees with their aims. Generally speaking, their organization tends to target individuals and groups that are anti-conservative, and anti-free speech. With that in mind, let’s dig into the latest bombshell released by the project.
Chase Representative: We Don’t do Business With “Those Types of People”
According to the report released on YouTube, Project Veritas representatives called the Chase Bank Corporate Global Media Relations. There they spoke to a person named dude who allegedly works for the department in question.
While posing as a corporate representative, Project Veritas asked the Chase rep if their bank did business with so-called MAGA types, Steve Bannon, or the alt-right.
While the rep declined to name names specifically, they heavily implied through carefully chosen words that Chase Bank does not do business with those who hold any of this branch of political views.
Specifically the rep said:
…Chase is not involved with any like, you know, alt right people or anything. I really can’t name names but it’s basically like we don’t get involved with any of that…
The rep later added:
…any kind of business entity, people like that, no moral character or anything like that, the bank usually doesn’t get involved with that.
Chase Follow-Up: That’s Not What We Meant… Kind of
The day after the report went live, Project Veritas received a response from another representative of Chase, Patricia Wexler, who claimed that the report was not accurate. Specifically, Wexler said that Chase does not close accounts “due to political affiliation.”
However, according to Project Veritas, the crux of the argument was simply that the person they spoke to does not actually represent the department he supposedly represented.
Project Veritas leader James O’Keefe said that on the contrary, the number they called to reach the rep in question was in fact the correct number for the department they wanted to speak to, Corporate Global Media Relations. They also included a screenshot from a mobile phone showing that a call did take place to the number listed on the website for that department.
The Bottom Line, and Why We Need Crypto
Unfortunately, this case isn’t completely cut and dry. Given the candid remarks made by the original Chase rep that spoke with Project Veritas, it is entirely possible that the company may choose to not do business with, or even restrict or cancel the accounts of those that hold ideological views the company doesn’t support.
Why is this important, and what does it have to do with crypto? Banks are private companies. As such, there are no laws that say that banks must do business with anyone and everyone. This means that as our current global financial system is entirely dependent, nay, addicted to private banks, these private banks have the power to de-bank anyone, for any reason. And there is nothing we can do to stop them.
This is where crypto comes into the picture. Public blockchain-based cryptocurrencies are, by their very nature, permissionless. That means one does not need permission in order to use any public blockchain (like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and so on). They don’t need approval from a central authority, from a bank manager, or from someone who is ideologically motivated to restrict the freedoms of those they disagree with.
Perhaps it’s time that we all take a step back and think, what would happen if you got de-banked? What if all your bank and credit cards stopped working, and you were forced to use nothing but cash? What if there wasn’t a single bank that would do business with you because of your political beliefs?
It’s a chilling thought.