Renowned psychologist Jordan Peterson recently ignited a conversation about the potential for Bitcoin to replace traditional banking systems. The discussion emerged on September 14, following news from Australia that Macquarie Bank plans to discontinue cash, check, and phone payment services.
Dr. Jordan Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist, professor, and cultural critic who has garnered international recognition for his thought-provoking ideas and critiques of various societal norms. Born on June 12, 1962, in Alberta, Canada, Peterson earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from McGill University. He later taught at Harvard University before returning to Canada to teach at the University of Toronto.
Peterson gained widespread fame for his vocal opposition to compelled speech and political correctness, particularly in the context of Canadian Bill C-16, which proposed adding “gender identity or expression” as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act. His stances have made him a polarizing figure, drawing both fervent support and criticism.
He is also a best-selling author, with books like “Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief” and “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos,” which have sold millions of copies worldwide. These works delve into complex topics such as belief systems, individual psychology, and the principles that govern human behavior.
With a social media following of over 4.6 million people, Peterson’s influence extends beyond academia into mainstream discussions on a wide array of topics. Whether it’s psychology, politics, or the intricacies of human behavior, his voice carries significant weight.
Recently, Peterson initiated a conversation about the potential of Bitcoin to serve as an alternative to traditional banking systems. This discussion was prompted by a report about Macquarie Bank published on September 13.
On September 13, according to an article by Daily Mail Australia, Macquarie Bank, Australia’s fifth-largest bank, has announced plans to eliminate all cash, check, and phone payment services in its Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane branches. The bank aims to complete this transition to digital-only transactions by November 2024. The decision has apparently sparked significant debate among customers and financial experts. The report mentioned that Sarah Wells, an expert in delivering strategic financing outcomes for high-net-worth individuals and families, has voiced concerns that this could set a trend for other banks, potentially making Australia a cashless society within a few years.
The article also noted that earlier this year, two other top 5 Australian banks — ANZ and Commonwealth Bank — had already stopped handling cash in some branches. However, Macquarie is the first to extend this policy across all its locations. The bank, which has a market capitalization of nearly $69 billion, will still allow its 1.7 million clients to withdraw cash from ATMs. But by May 2024, the bank will cease all over-the-counter cash and check deposits and withdrawals.
The article went on to say that — social media posts — the public’s reaction to Macquarie’s announcement has been overwhelmingly negative. Wells suggests that this move could disproportionately impact various groups, including lower-income households, the elderly, and people with disabilities. She also warns that the rapid shift to a cashless society could have unintended consequences, such as depriving young people of understanding the true value of money.
This is not the first time that Peterson has talked about Bitcoin. For example, in an episode of The Dr. Jordan B. Peterson Podcast released on 9 August 2021, he sat down with four vocal members of the Bitcoin community for an introduction to the world of cryptocurrencies. One of those people was Robert Breedlove, ex-hedge fund manager, philosopher in the Bitcoin space, and host of The “What is Money?” Show.
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