How Wind works and why you’ll never be locked out of your money
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has been an extraordinary event in the financial sector with ramifications felt worldwide. The bank’s storied clientele means that the impact of its collapse will be felt not only within the bank itself but also by over 50% of Silicon Valley startups that banked with SVB. As a result, the collapse will affect all startups, startup founders, employees, and even the funds that back them for years to come.
Our inspiration for Wind came from when we ourselves were locked out of our money (Happens more often than you think!). We were driven to create uncensorable money, that can be used by everyone, everywhere.
Wind accounts are not traditional bank accounts. They are permissionless blockchain wallets (also called “on-chain”) that reside in the Polygon blockchain. This means that the wallets are entirely self-custodial – i.e. the access to the money is in ONLY your hand. Without your explicit approval, no one can access or mismanage your funds in any way. The “keys” to your wallet are only with you – so we cannot, by design, do what banks generally do with your money – which is loan it out or buy long-dated bonds with it – which is exactly how the bank run for SVB got triggered.
Banks are designed and regulated to take a calculated risk with customer deposits. But as we saw – even the regulated risks are sometimes too much. According to FDIC’s own data, there have been 562 bank failures from 2001 through 2023!
The uncensorable and immutable nature of the blockchain is why businesses are shifting to self-custodial accounts like Wind. Your money always belongs to you, and you will always have access to it.
With Wind, you choose how to put money to work, how that money is lent out or used, or how you make payments with it. We can’t lock you out even if we tried. If Wind ever goes out of business, you can still access your money on-chain any time of the day.
Situations like what we’ve seen unfold this week remind us of the inherent risks within any financial system. We designed our product as a way of offering financial services to any customers — from our perspective — with least amount of exposure to any individual bank and moving away as much as possible from systematic failures, while maintaining the benefits of money movement and money storage that customers enjoy from the banking system.
Please reach out to us here if you have any questions. We’re here to help.