Time Magazine reaches the defense of Bitcoin
The mainstream media have become famous for bashing Bitcoin (BTC). Over a relatively short life of about 10 years, prominent journalists (who often do not understand the value of blockchain-based activities) have come out to openly target BTC. Some have claimed that its ecosystem is full of bad actors. Others support their belief that Bitcoin is only the 21st century tulips.
The bottom line is that many who come from traditional kingdoms think that BTC is useless, along with the thousands of other blockchain-based tokens that this community holds. In fact, 99 Bitcoin, which has compiled a series of anti-cryptic articles / publications, believes that BTC has been found to have died 337 times. And this number only includes scratchy pieces from important media.
However, for the first time in what looks like an eternity, since Bitcoin found himself in a price pit, Time Magazine came to the rescue. More specifically, Alex Gladstein, the head of the Human Rights Foundation strategy, has released a piece of TIME Ideas, a column of opinions that hosts "the most important voices in the world, [who] prov[ide] comment on events in news, in society and in culture ".
My @TIME column on why bitcoin is important for freedom. For billions who live under authoritarianism, it can be an alternative monetary system and an escape from economic control. And for all of us, it preserves the peer-to-peer virtues of money in an increasingly digital financial world. https://t.co/vmyhwlOVJr
– Alex Gladstein (@gladstein) December 28, 2018
In the piece, Gladstein broke the way in which those living under authoritarianism are living, in particular by drawing attention to hyperinflation and Venezuela's corruption scandals. At present, the Venezuelan Bolivars have not become anything other than igniting the fires, as inflation is expected to exceed one million percent. The human rights defender said that while some have lost all hope, other thinkers have found comfort in BTC. He wrote:
For people living under authoritarian governments, Bitcoin can be a valuable financial tool as a means of censorship-resistant exchange.
Case in point, he drew attention to the role that Bitcoin can play in remittances, observing that Venezuelans can mitigate the 56% commissions that remittance providers charge, while also the days of shaving, if not the weeks of transaction times. This is far from the Bitcoin limit, however, as the safest transaction transaction layer in the world will become even more valuable, especially with second-tier applications being developed.
Once again, Bitcoin is only the limitation of the iceberg in the fight against authoritarianism, since Gladstein has continued to praise encrypted technologies, such as Signal and Tor, cryptocurrencies focusing on privacy, namely Monero and ZCash, together to other ways to get 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 time and resources to develop easy-to-use portfolios, more exchanges and better educational materials for Bitcoin, it has the potential to make the real difference to the 4 billion people who can not trust their leaders or who can not trust access to the system banking. For them, Bitcoin can be a way out.
Since the article was published, some important cryptographers have come to praise the piece of depth and Gladstein's courage to talk about an anti-establishment movement. Adam Back, founder of Blockstream and creator of a key PoW protocol used in Bitcoin, exclaimed that the piece was a "great explanation of bearer money without authorization". Elizabeth Stark, the co-founder of Lightning Labs, said the article was "exactly the kind of article we need the most", she jokes, saying that it pushes people in the industry to work even harder.
This sentiment has been echoed in this nascent community, as many have given Gladstein's awards for bringing the urgent issue of authoritarianism to the fore, while at the same time offering a potential solution in the propagation of Bitcoin.
Title Image Courtesy of Jake Givens on Unsplash