The Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation wrote an article for the world famous Time Magazine titled ‘Why Bitcoin matters for freedom.’ On the day it was published, it was most popular news story on the magazine’s website.
Alex Gladstein, who is also involved with the Oslo Freedom Forum, talks about how Bitcoin is providing an option for Venezuelans, who after years of high inflation, have watched their bolivares “turn into scrap paper.”
“Today, Venezuelans are adopting and experimenting with Bitcoin to evade hyperinflation and strict financial controls,” Mr Gladstein writes.
“Speculation, fraud, and greed in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry have overshadowed the real, liberating potential of Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention.
“For people living under authoritarian governments, Bitcoin can be a valuable financial tool as a censorship-resistant medium of exchange.”
"Why Bitcoin matters for freedom" https://t.co/jKBAroePsc
— TIME (@TIME) December 28, 2018
Mr Gladstein also talks about how Bitcoin can allow Venezuelans to transfer money to their loved ones, without paying exorbitant fees.
“It’s now possible to send a text message to your family asking for Bitcoin, and receive it minutes later for a tiny fee,” he said.
“Government censorship isn’t possible, as Bitcoin isn’t routed through a bank or third party and instead arrives into your phone wallet in a peer-to-peer way.”
The article also points out that Venezuela isn’t the only place where people can use Bitcoin as an “escape valve.”
“In Zimbabwe, Robvert Mugabe printed endless amounts of cash and inflated the savings of his citizens into nothing, but his successors can’t print more Bitcoin” it said.
“In China, Xi Jinping can track all of your transactions on Alipay and WePay, but he cannot orchestrate mass surveillance on all Bitcoin payments.”
My @TIME column on why bitcoin matters for freedom. For billions living under authoritarianism, it can be an alternative money system and an escape from economic control. And for all of us, it preserves the peer-to-peer virtues of cash in an increasingly digital financial world. https://t.co/vmyhwlOVJr
— Alex Gladstein (@gladstein) December 28, 2018
However, Mr Gladstein does acknowledge the challenges the world’s largest digital currency is still facing.
“Bitcoin is still a nascent technology and doesn’t offer cutting-edge usability, speed or privacy,” he said.
“But engineers are constantly working to bring those attributes to Bitcoin by building better apps and on-ramps, upgrading the base protocol, and creating new second layer technologies like the Lightning Network, which could eventually mask and dramatically scale the number of possible Bitcoin transactions per second.
“Less than In the same way that the mobile phone began as absurdly expensive, barely functional, and only available to the elite, Bitcoin continues to evolve and will become easier to use and more accessible to the masses in the future.”
To read the article, which has risen to the ‘Most Popular’ on the Time Magazine Website, click here.