Mainstream media has become infamous for bashing Bitcoin (BTC). Over the asset’s relatively short lifespan of ~10 years, prominent journalists (who often don’t understand the value of blockchain-based assets), have come out to overtly bash BTC. Some have claimed that its ecosystem is rife with bad actors. Others maintain their belief that Bitcoin is just the tulips of the 21st century.
The bottom line is that many that hail from traditional realms think BTC is worthless, along with the thousands of other blockchain-based tokens that this community holds dear. In fact, 99Bitcoins, who has compiled an array of anti-crypto articles/publications, believes that BTC has been deemed dead upwards of 337 times. And this number only includes scathing pieces from prominent media outlets.
Time Magazine Comes To The Defense Of Bitcoin
However, for the first time in what seems like an eternity, as Bitcoin has found itself in a price pit, Time Magazine has come to the rescue. More specifically, Alex Gladstein, the chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation, has released a piece to TIME Ideas, an opinion column that houses “world’s leading voices, [who] prov[ide] commentary on events in news, society, and culture.”
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
In the piece, Gladstein broke down how those who live under authoritarianism are faring, specifically drawing attention to Venezuela’s hyperinflation and corruption scandals. As it stands, Venezuela’s Bolivars have become nothing more than kindling for fires, as inflation is expected to surpass one million percent. The human rights advocate claimed that while some have lost all hope, other forward-thinkers have found solace in BTC. He wrote:
For people living under authoritarian governments, Bitcoin can be a valuable financial tool as a censorship-resistant medium of exchange.
Case in point, he drew attention to the role that Bitcoin can play in remittances, noting that Venezuelans can mitigate the 56% fees that remittance providers charge, while also shaving days, if not weeks of transaction times. This is far from Bitcoin’s limit, however, as the world’s most secured transaction settlement layer will become even more valuable, especially with second layer applications that are in development.
Again, Bitcoin is only the edge of the iceberg in the fight against authoritarianism, as Gladstein went on to laud encrypted technologies, like Signal and Tor, privacy-centric cryptocurrencies, namely Monero and ZCash, along with other ways to skirt around centralized roadblocks. But Bitcoin, in and of itself, can still be a powerful player in this war against centralized oppression. As put by Goldstein:
If we invest the time and resources to develop user-friendly wallets, more exchanges, and better educational materials for Bitcoin, it has the potential to make a real difference for the 4 billion people who can’t trust their rulers or who can’t access the banking system. For them, Bitcoin can be a way out.
Since the article was released, a number of prominent crypto diehards have come out to praise Gladstein’s in-depth piece and bravery to talk about an anti-establishment movement. Adam Back, the founder of Blockstream and the creator of a key PoW protocol used in Bitcoin, exclaimed that the piece was a “great explanation of permissionless bearer cash.” Elizabeth Stark, the co-founder of Lightning Labs, claimed that the article was “exactly the kind of article we need more of,” quipping that it motivates industry insiders to work even harder.
This sentiment was echoed throughout this nascent community, as many gave Gladstein accolades for bringing the pressing issue of authoritarianism to the limelight, while also offering up a potential solution in the propagation of Bitcoin.
Title Image Courtesy of Jake Givens on Unsplash
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