More and more, we hear of  content creators across the spectrum of politics, both left, right, and  center being deplatformed or having their work censored or banned  because of views that go against those of the platform they are hosted  on.

Two prominent voices, Abby Martin and Tim Pool, have begun  accepting Bitcoin via their websites and channels as monetization  becomes harder and harder for content creators on YouTube. Bitcoin has  become a refuge for content creators who want to get around the new wall  of censorship slowing going up across the Internet.

It's here  that we find actual use cases for Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies.  It's well and good to hope that the corner store in your  neighborhood will accept Bitcoin or that you will be able to buy your  favorite latte with Bitcoin, but Bitcoin is already being used around  the world, in its intended purpose of sending money peer-to-peer without  a trusted third party.

Recently, I attended Bitcoin 2019 in San  Francisco, CA. One of the keynote speakers was Edward Snowden, and it  was in his speech that he revealed that the equipment he used to send  the information to the press was purchased with Bitcoin.

Who else uses Bitcoin?

For  the dissident working under a brutal regime, who needs to receive funds  or send funds as well as banks are controlled by the government.  Bitcoin is the answer. Is Bitcoin the answer to all their or our  problems? Of course not. But what Bitcoin does is create a means for  people to move funds across borders only needing a computer or  smartphone and the Internet.

For example,

The 'Free  Joseon' movement in North Korea raised over 64 million Won (Roughly USD  54,912.00) over the last year - in Bitcoin, selling virtual visas' to  the country that they hope will arise after defeating the North Korean  Regime.

Julian Assange, Founder of Wikileaks, has been a  proponent of Bitcoin since the early days of Wikileaks. When VISA and  PayPal stopped supporters from sending funds to Wikileaks, those  supporters turned to Bitcoin. Even after his arrest, Wikileaks has  received over 22 million in Bitcoin donations. In total, the Bitcoin  address posted on the Wikileaks website current sits at USD 71,808.95  according to Blockchain.com's block explorer.

And of course,  there is The Silk Road. A dark web marketplace where a person could buy  almost anything (and yes, some things were not allowed) and purchases  were made in Bitcoin. The U.S. Justice Department sold over 144,000  Bitcoin which it seized, which at the time netted around 48 million  dollars.

So there is proof that Bitcoin can be used for commerce  as well as for activism and to support whistleblowers and journalist who  are not able to use traditional means to fund their activities. As  development expands, we are going to see other methods of sending  Bitcoin that would allow people to do so without needing a traditional  internet service.

Projects like Cointext, CashApp, Dash Text,  and others allow users to send Cryptocurrency via SMS messages. So when  we consider around 91% of the U.S. population alone have access to a  cellphone, this may be the path to everyday usage and adoption.

But  it's not just a journalist, revolutionary or dark web shopper who can  use Bitcoin. Everyone, all of us, should use Bitcoin if nothing else,  because it allows us to buy products or send money to family members in  other countries without "Big Brother" watching and deciding whether or  not we can send money. Not because we have any "bad intentions", but  because we want to, and because we don't want a third party looking over  our shoulders.

In the end, the issue with Bitcoin adoption may  have more to do with the willingness to take a chance and less to do  with the volatility and lousy press put out by the media regarding  Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency.

We will have to see.


Jeff  John Roberts. 2017. "The Feds Just Collected $48 Million from Seized  Bitcoins." Fortune. Fortune. October 2, 2017.  https://fortune.com/2017/10/02/bitcoin-sale-silk-road/.

‌Sawers,  Paul. 2017. "5 Billion People Now Have a Mobile Phone Connection,  According to GSMA Data." VentureBeat. VentureBeat. June 13, 2017.  https://venturebeat.com/2017/06/13/5-billion-people-now-have-a-mobile-phone-connection-according-to-gsma-data/.

‌"CoinText – Send Cryptocurrency to Phone Numbers or Wallets Using SMS." 2019. Cointext.Io. 2019. https://cointext.io/en/.

‌Mix.  2019. "Wikileaks' Bitcoin Donations Spike Following Julian Assange's  Arrest." Hard Fork | The Next Web. The Next Web. April 11, 2019.  https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2019/04/11/julian-assange-bitcoin-wikileaks/.

"North  Korean Dissidents Sell Ethereum-Based Post-Liberation Visas." 2019.  Yahoo.Com. March 20, 2019.  https://finance.yahoo.com/news/north-korean-dissidents-sell-ethereum-230000266.html.

by Jason Nelson