Alex Gladstein of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) has praised bitcoin by saying that it is an escape hatch from tyranny and that there is more to it than price. In comments via a short video, Gladstein, the chief strategy officer (CSO) at HRF, claims that “people who buy bitcoin are strengthening a tool to protect human rights.”
Bitcoin retains the freedom
Meanwhile, Gladstein is using the video to push back bitcoin critics like Paul Krugman, who he describes as being in a “sheltered environment in a liberal democracy with constitutional protections”. The CSO adds that, since Krugman’s “home currency (USD) is globally dominant and relatively stable,” he can easily open a bank account.
Likewise, the HRF manager says it is easy for Krugman to use a mobile app to “pay bills or increase his assets by investing in real estate or stocks.” In contrast, these privileges are not granted to 4.2 billion people living under “authoritarian regimes that use money as a tool for surveillance and state control.”
Therefore, according to Gladstein, “saving and dealing out of the reach of the government is not a shady business. It’s a way to keep their freedoms. “
Bitcoin financing and donations
In the meantime, the CSO identifies several countries that are using control over the monetary system to silence human rights defenders and how bitcoin can make a difference. Some of the countries listed include China, Russia, Belarus, Nigeria and Myanmar (Burma). Meanwhile, Gladstein says of people living under such governments:
Bitcoin offers a way to keep their money in cyberspace, locked in by encryption, safe from devaluation, in a network that has never been hacked. For them, it’s digital cash and digital gold in one.
The CSO then provides examples of some pro-democracy groups or individuals who have used bitcoin to defeat repressive governments. Gladstein says:
In recent months, Belarusian activists have used bitcoin to defy the regime by sending more than $ 3 million in unstoppable money directly to striking workers, who then convert it locally into rubles on peer-to-peer marketplaces to feed their families as they protest against the country’s dictatorship. “
Nigeria’s Endsars movement and the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny are notable examples of human defenders turning to bitcoin. Likewise, citizens of democratic states can also use bitcoin to escape “financial controls, de-platforming and an ever-expanding surveillance state.”
Meanwhile, Gladstein says, as more people rely more and more on easy-to-check apps like Apple Pay and Alipay, bitcoin offers an alternative.
Do you agree with Gladstein that bitcoin offers a way out for victims of tyranny and currency devaluation? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
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