Alex Gladstein, Director of Strategy at the Human Rights Foundation, has published an article entitled “Why Bitcoin Matters for Freedom” in Time magazine, explaining how crypto currency can help people regain control of their lives from totalitarian regimes.
“Speculation, fraud and greed in the crypto industry and the chain of blocks have overshadowed the real and liberating potential of Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention,” writes Gladstein.
“For people living under authoritarian governments, Bitcoin can be a valuable financial tool as a censorship-resistant medium of exchange.”
The paper focuses on the current situation in Venezuela as the best example of his thesis. It details how Venezuelans are using Bitcoin to avoid hyperinflation that grows every minute and harsh capital controls.
It also shows how, after greatly devaluing citizens’ savings, Maduro’s regime is using the banking system to confiscate much of the money sent from abroad by people who want to help their families return home.
Beyond Venezuela, the article points out how Bitcoin can help citizens suffering from inflation in Zimbabwe, those who want to avoid massive surveillance in China, NGOs that have their bank accounts frozen in Russia, and refugees without access to basic banking services.
He also explains that cash is used without government permission, but that it can be virtually useless because of hyperinflation and that many countries are moving into cashless societies, strengthening the need for crypto currency.
“Less than 1% of the world’s population, not more than 40 million people, has used Bitcoin. But, according to the Human Rights Foundation, more than 50% of the world’s population lives under an authoritarian regime,” writes Gladstein.
“If we invest time and resources to develop easy-to-use wallets, more exchanges and better educational materials for Bitcoin, then technology has the potential to make a real difference to the 4 billion people who cannot trust their rulers. For them, Bitcoin can be a way out.
This position connects very much with statements by various Venezuelan economists explaining why Venezuelans are migrating, so to speak, to other currencies.
For example, in the economy, the currency used for everything is known as functional currency; in the case of Venezuela, the bolívar, which is the legal tender currency, has ceased to be practical for Venezuelans, so the euro, the dollar, bitcoin and dash have come as a salvation to protect themselves from the hyperinflation that devalues the currency more and more every day.