While the Lebanese pound has depreciated by over 90%, the government has restricted the amount of money people can withdraw. The chaotic economic situation has caused many people to turn to Bitcoin as no third party or government can block it.
The number of bank robberies in Lebanon by armed people who demand access to their frozen savings is rising.
Lebanese banks have limited foreign exchange withdrawals since 2019, freezing the savings of millions of people. Around 80% of the population has come into poverty as the economy of the Eastern Mediterranean country continues collapsing.
Over the last few days, several middle-class Lebanese citizens conducted robberies using real and toy weapons.
According to local media, the restrictions on how much money customers can withdraw caused a person to rob a bank with a hunting rifle.
In another case, a woman broke into a bank with a toy gun, demanding USD 13,000 of her frozen savings. While people surrounded the entrance, she shouted at employees to release that amount of cash.
According to the Associated Press, a man armed with a gun kept ten (10) bank employees as hostages. He also threatened to burn himself with gasoline unless he could withdraw his money to pay the medical bills for his father.
Meanwhile, demonstrators gathered outside the bank to support the man, saying they wanted the government of the banks to fall.
Somewhere else in the country, a person entered a bank, demanding the release of his trapped savings. According to Reuters, a security source said the police caught him after stealing USD 30,000 of his money.
There is an Ongoing Economic Crises in Lebanon
The ongoing economic crisis in Lebanon that started in 2019 has made robberies increasingly common. The Lebanese pound (LBP), the local fiat currency, has lost its value by over 90%. Meanwhile, the government has restricted the amount of money people can withdraw from their accounts.
According to the World Bank, Lebanon is undergoing one of the worst economic crises, with almost all citizens have come into misery.
The above are only examples of the growing number of bank attacks in Lebanon by people desperate to recover their savings. The economic crisis worsens, leading many citizens to use force to access their money.
People Turn to Cryptocurrencies due to the Collapse of Lebanese Banks
The chaotic situation in Lebanon has caused many people to turn to decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) for help. One reason is that no third party or government can block access to those assets.
Some Lebanese citizens have lost 100% of their savings because banks have blocked their deposits. Therefore, many view Bitcoin as a lifeline amid the ongoing economic crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean nation.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin is trading at around USD 19.0967 and has accumulated a 0.6% loss over the last 24 hours. While its daily trading volume is above USD 34.13 billion, its market capitalization is about USD 365.29 billion, according to CoinGecko.
By Alexander Salazar