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When Cash Is Not King

October 31, 2021 V268
Waking up Penniless

You wake up one day and all the wonderful digital conveniences you have come to depend on are defunct. Apps are not working, internet and mobile data are all disconnected. Suddenly, you cannot pay for anything. Suddenly, you feel very disconnected from what is in your bank. 

You thought that you could do with some physical cash and you head over to an ATM. Just like how Greece was when it went through a debt crisis back in 2015, during enforced capital controls, each withdrawal was capped at a mere €60 per day. You realized that you cannot access what you thought was yoursyou start to wonder if it is still yours. 

Cross-border transfers became extremely restrictive, citizens could not transfer their funds out of the country without official approval. Because of the aggressive restrictions imposed on the population, trust in government institutions was at an all-time low. Citizens emptied the banks of currency by withdrawing cash at €500 denominations in droves. Locals were stashing their cash at home, in safe boxes, under their mattresses and even under the kitchen sinks. Morale was hammered, and for the decade after, confidence in the Greek economy is still low.

In February 2022, there was a bank run in Russia right after Russia moved into Ukraine and citizens were greeted with long queues and empty ATMs. Inflation is acute, shelves are empty. The cost of basic necessities skyrocketed, and paper currencies can’t pay for enough of them. The lack of basic services also means that you cannot access the internet to tap on your virtual assets and cryptocurrencies. 

Millions of people from both sides of the Ukrainian-Russian border experienced these unpleasant surprises and more in the weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he will be commemorating a military operation “involving” Ukraine. 

When elephants wrestle, the grass always loses. When two countries go to war, citizens on both sides suffer the brunt of the consequences. Overnight, Russian Rubles and Ukrainian Hryvnia pummeled in value, real estate value on both sides of the conflict evaporated and stock markets turned bearish.

Stored Value vs Utility Value

The attention cryptocurrency has garnered over the last few years often leave out the requirement of internet connectivity in its utilization. Hard wallets and cold storage often preserve the value of the cryptocurrency while having some barriers when it comes to day-to-day use.

If only there was a fungible, portable and universally valued item people could have diversified into. Something that could hold value and can be processed where there isn’t internet connection or electricity.

Well, there is, and it's called Gold and other precious metals. It has worked for emperors and kings, and for a good reason. It works, when nothing else works.  

There is a difference between stored value and utility value. The ability to trade and purchase items and services after all services have ceased is an important one. 

Build Your Own El Dorado

El Dorado, the legendary city of gold. Why did it capture the imagination of so many generations? Because there is just something about gold that makes it so universally accepted. For one, gold is rare, and for another, gold doesn’t “rust”. Gold doesn't react and gets diminished over time, it doesn’t get “lesser” in mass over time, unlike other precious metals.

Most importantly, Gold has been and most likely will continue to be the standard all other forms of stored value platforms are measured against. In short, it's always a good idea to freeze some of your wealth in physical gold. Just make sure that most of it are in coins for easy exchange and concealment.

Be Your Own King

If you are living in safe haven Singapore, you might be tempted to store your precious hard assets in a safe in your own home. While that might sound like a good idea, there have been cases where home safes are compromised simply by their existence. A frenemy is always near and over your shoulders. 

Even the most advanced security home safes in the world will be overcome during home invasions. 

In our line of work, be the King of your very own, hidden, El Dorado. Ignorance is a wall no drill or lockpick can access. The ultimate security is privacy. You need to be where Privacy Meets Protection. 

It’s our pleasure to introduce a 24 hours access type of Premium Safe Deposit Box Facility, Vault@268 Singapore, located in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore. Fully autonomous and automatic, it is non-bank, privately owned and fully robotic. All clients access their assets at any time of the day or night, without having to interact or be seen by another human being. Our clients are able to rent boxes with us for up to 10 years and there is and will never be any obligations to open any bank account of any sort. 

It’s time to build your own El Dorado and be the King or Queen of your own kingdom.