a month ago 2 min read

Human Rights Foundation: Bitcoin "Fixes Democracy" and "Fights Corruption"

bitcoin-alex gladstein-opennode

Bitcoin is a symbol of free speech, property rights, and open capital markets, which limits the authority of oppressive governments.

Alex Gladstein, a proponent of bitcoin and the chief strategic officer of the Human Rights Foundation, claims that by limiting government influence over its citizens, bitcoin restores damaged democracies and combats governmental corruption.

In a Feb. 20 interview, Gladstein suggested that Bitcoin's decentralized structure can serve as a defense against dictatorship and corruption. He stated:

"Where the democracies have broken down, I do think it's very clearly related to fiat currency, and I do think that Bitcoin fixes this in a way,"

Since 2007, Gladstein has worked as the non-profit organization's chief strategy officer. The organization is committed to advancing and defending human rights everywhere, but especially in nations where its citizens are subject to "authoritarian rule."

Gladstein also presents lectures on Bitcoin and the state of money at Singularity University gatherings.

Gladstein stated in the interview that a tyrannical regime often needs censorship, confiscation, and restricted financial markets, and that Bitcoin represents free speech, property rights, and open capital markets, all of which are stifling to a tyrannical administration.

"This is what China and Russia need to survive they need censorship, they need close capital markets and they need confiscation, Bitcoin makes it really hard for governments to impose those things on their people."

In the past, both China and Russia have been opposed to cryptocurrency. In 2021, the Chinese government effectively outlawed all cryptocurrency transactions; however, there have been rumors that attitude may be changing in light of Hong Kong's impending crypto licensing framework.

The usage of cryptocurrency for payment purposes will be legally outlawed in 2020 under Russia's significant crypto law, "On Digital Financial Assets." Although local cryptocurrency exchanges are still unregulated, the law did not forbid Russians from investing in cryptocurrencies.

Gladstein continued, "I don't think these authoritarian powers will fare well under a Bitcoin standard; I think it becomes incredibly difficult for them.

Gladstein's crypto argument echoes similar ideas expressed by others in the past, such as Bitcoin infrastructure firm OpenNode, who discussed the advantage of BTC donations in avoiding authoritative crackdowns in a post from 2021.

At the time, OpenNode stated that one benefit of Bitcoin was its resistance to censorship.

"Without any central authority to dictate who can and can't use Bitcoin, it has proven to be the currency of choice for many individuals and organizations who have been left out of traditional payment methods."

A February 2022 analysis by blockchain analytics company Elliptic found that avoiding traditional accounts being closed by financial institutions was one of the main motivations for adopting blockchain-based fundraising.

In the upcoming years, there will be a lot more "trigger moments" when consumers have "technical and liquidity difficulty with traditional financial services," which will cause more people to switch to BTC as a substitute.

"You're basically going to see a whole hell of a lot of difficulties if there's a conflict or a breakdown in trade or communications, and every single one of those is like a moment that's going to mint a new Bitcoiner out of need," he said.

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