While I strongly believe that most banks are not trustworthy, driven by greed and very likely evil at their root, I do see a few exceptions. In Germany, for example, there's the GLS Bank
, which is driven by ethical ideas and is fully transparent when it comes to giving loans to businesses and institutions (of course they value their private customers' privacy; there's simply a major difference between individuals and institutions when it comes to privacy). And the GLS Bank only support companies and institutions that are life-supporting and sustainable (unlike most banks that are just after the money, driven be greed, causing destruction). Banks like that work actively towards a more sustainable financial system, so I think those banks and Bitcoin might be a very nice match.
I could imagine that some banks like that could actually embrace Bitcoin and support it - which would be a great thing for a couple of reasons:
- Banks do provide some useful services (e.g. safe storage of your money - when your bank-wallet's gone they are fully liable, exchanging currencies, providing loans at reasonable rates, professional advice on money matters ... hopefully ;-) )
- Banks supporting Bitcoin would be a tremendous boosts in perceived trustworthiness of Bitcoin in larger parts of the world's population (while a lot of people are very skeptical of banks, the majority trusts banks much more than they would trust Bitcoin; and the banks I'm talking about actually are trustworthy banks even to people that are skeptical of banks ... in any case, banks supporting Bitcoin would help tremendously putting Bitcoin into the mainstream, and that's where Bitcoin has to be, eventually)
- Helping "ethical banks" understand Bitcoin and support it will be beneficial to those banks - and ethical banks becoming more successful and powerful helps balancing the financial market which is currently dominated by greed and life-destructive forces
So, this could be a classical win-win relationship.
The idea is to look for banks that as much as possible match the ideals of Bitcoin, list them and talk to them. Some people might already be customers of such banks - and being a customer and asking for Bitcoin support and explaining Bitcoin to them could be an effective form of grassroots lobbyism. Also, some people who like Bitcoin might consider switching over from "banks that suck" (tm) to "banks that rock".
And it would probably a good idea to think about other strategies of getting those banks to support Bitcoin in a positive manner.
Even with some banks supporting Bitcoin I feel there's still enough room for community driven exchanges and the community providing some of the services that usually banks would provide. The way I see it, those could peacefully coexist.