To answer this question, let's first take a look at the policies of our banking system. It's no secret that our banking system is not the most stable system on earth, this was already made clear in our blog about the fact that our banks keep on printing money during crises, which of course leads to inflation. So nowadays it is almost by default the case that high inflation comes with your money in the bank. Your money becomes worth less every year, since there is more and more money in circulation and it becomes less scarce. Inflation in Belgium at the time of this writing is about 8 percent, but that's the least of our worries at the moment.
Bail in vs bail out
One fact that can threaten our savings in the bank even more drastically are namely the bail-in and bail-out laws, let's explain them first. We saw that during the 2008 crisis banks were saved with bail-outs. This meant that your tax money was used to keep the banks straight and save them from bankruptcy. This is something that is fairly well known among Belgian citizens as it was discussed in the media at the time. However, what many people do not know is that in January 2016 a new law was voted on, namely the bail-in law. This law ensures that in times of great crisis (just imagine what a financial malaise the coronavirus and the war in Ukraine will leave behind) the state can directly take the necessary funds from your personal account! Currently, a state guarantee of 100,000€ is set by this law. In other words, stocks and bonds are confiscated first, followed by all accounts above 100.000€. Most people are thus relatively resistant to this law, or so you would think, because who has more than 100,000 euros in savings in the bank, certainly not Joe with a hat? Well, think again, because this law also states that the 100,000 euros state guarantee in times of crisis can be terminated. In other words, the state can keep reducing this amount until even the money of the poorest fellow man can be confiscated in the name of the "welfare of our country". Although this scenario sounds very absurd, it is much more likely than you think. For example, it was applied in Cyprus in 2013, and there the anger of the citizens was enormous. So if you leave your money in the bank you are indeed at risk from this bail-in law.
So how do I avoid that scenario? I can't hide money under my bed, can I? It can be quite a shock to discover that the banks we trust with our hard-earned savings are not as reliable as we thought. But not to worry, there is a safe, reliable and liberating alternative: cryptocurrency! Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are completely independent of banks, governments and any control. When you invest your assets in Bitcoin or other coins, and you secure them properly, nothing or no one can get to your coins, they remain yours forever. Of course, the crypto market has a lot of volatility, but you shouldn't be blinded by that since Bitcoin has continued to rise in the long run anyway, that trend can certainly be repeated for a long time. The main point here is that no one can get to your money but yourself. Thus, you become the master of your own wealth again and you are your own bank.
If the volatility of the crypto market still scares you off, then of course you can always turn to a stable coin, stable coins are what these types of cryptocurrencies are called then. Stablecoins are linked to the euro or dollar and always keep the same value. In other words, this allows you to avoid the volatility of the crypto market. So you have all the benefits and freedom of cryptocurrencies, without the volatility of the market! Of course it always remains interesting to buy some precious metals, after all these have been seen as a reasonably stable investment for centuries. Try to diversify your portfolio in every possible way, and once you do that you are safe from the so-called "banksters" and through all the crises you keep the value of your piggy bank in your own hands. Free your value from third parties and survive the next crisis with flying colors! Be your own bank!