Human Rights Foundation: Bitcoin is the way to fight corruption and establish democracy
In an interview on February 20, 2023, Alex Gladstein, a Bitcoin advocate and Chief Strategy Officer of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), said that the decentralized nature of Bitcoin would limit the government’s power to control people and combat government corruption. He stated:
In my opinion, the problems in areas where democracy is not properly observed are related to fiat currency, and Bitcoin can somehow solve these problems.
Since 2007, Gladstein has been working as the Chief Strategy Officer of the Human Rights Foundation. The Human Rights Foundation is a non-profit organization to promote and protect human rights globally, especially in countries where people live under the rule of authoritarian rule. According to Gladstein’s bio, he speaks at Singularity University events about Bitcoin and the future of money.
In an interview, he said that Bitcoin is a symbol of freedom of speech, property rights and free capital market, which is against the wishes of authoritarian regimes. The stability of these types of governments often depends on censorship, confiscation and a closed and controlled capital market. He said:
Governments like China and Russia need censorship, confiscation and controlled capital markets to survive. Bitcoin makes it hard to impose your will on people.
The Chinese government effectively banned cryptocurrency transactions in 2021. But Hong Kong’s issuance of new cryptocurrency licenses has fueled speculation that China may be changing its stance on digital currencies. Under a law passed in Russia in 2020, payments with cryptocurrency were officially banned. This law does not prohibit Russian citizens from investing in cryptocurrency, but local cryptocurrency exchanges are not subject to special supervision. Gladstein added:
The decisions that these dictatorial powers make are not compatible with Bitcoin’s standards, and I think it’s really hard for them to accept these standards.
In 2021, Bitcoin infrastructure provider OpenNode made similar comments to Gladstein about the benefits of donating Bitcoin to combat government censorship, writing:
Bitcoin is a suitable alternative for many organizations and individuals who cannot afford to use traditional payment methods because there is no central authority that determines who can and who cannot use this cryptocurrency.
According to research by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic in February 2022, one of the most important reasons for attracting capital through blockchain was to prevent financial institutions from closing traditional accounts.
Gladstein predicts that in the coming years people will experience more technical and liquidity problems with traditional financial services and the majority will switch to Bitcoin.
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