Time Magazine – Bitcoin Can Make Real Difference For 4bln People
Bitcoin (BTC) has a considerable liberating potential, reports American mainstream newspaper Time on 30 December. The aforementioned article claims that “speculation, fraud, and greed in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry have overshadowed the real, liberating potential of Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention.”
According to the article’s author, Bitcoin “can be a valuable financial tool as a censorship-resistant medium of exchange.”
Alejandro Machado, an Open Money Initiative cryptocurrency researcher, reportedly said that the wire transfer fee from the United States to Venezuela could be as high as 56%.
Venezuelans reportedly turned to cryptocurrency to avoid these conditions and received Bitcoin from their relatives abroad. The main alternative is to transfer money to Colombia, withdraw and bring cash to Venezuela, which, according to the article, “can take much longer, cost more and be far more dangerous than the Bitcoin option.”
Venezuela is a prime example of this, with inflation projected at the top 1million percent of its native currency. But there are other similar examples, such as Zimbabwe, where former President Robert Mugabe “printed infinite amounts of cash.” But the author points out “His successors can’t print more Bitcoin.”
Bitcoin is also a tool to evade mass surveillance in places like China, according to the article. That being said, according to the United States, in March Whistleblower Edward Snowden, Bitcoin is not the best way to avoid government coercion, and he believes the world needs a better choice.
Times also highlight the advantage that governments are not able to censor transactions or freeze Bitcoin wallets. In fact, back in April the Coinbase account of WikiLeaks was suspended because of a breach of service. However, no one can prevent WikiLeaks from using cryptocurrency wallets where private keys are controlled by the company. In fact, WikiLeaks still accepts donations from cryptocurrency and also added support for the favorite Zcash crypto of Snowden in August 2017.
Furthermore, the report points out that less than 1% of the world’s population— no more than 40 million people— used Bitcoin before. But more than 50% of the world’s population lives under an authoritarian regime, according to the Human Rights Foundation. When we invest the time and resources to develop user-friendly wallets, more exchanges and better educational materials for Bitcoin, it can make a real difference for the 4 billion people who cannot trust their rulers or who cannot access the banking system. Bitcoin can be a way out for them.