Bitcoin fixes broken democracies and fights government corruption by limiting its power to control its people, argues Bitcoin advocate and chief strategy officer of the Human Rights Foundation, Alex Gladstein.
In a Feb. 20 interview, Gladstein argued that the decentralized nature of Bitcoin can act as a barrier against corruption and tyranny.
"Where the democracies have broken down, I do think it’s very clearly related to fiat currency, and I do think that Bitcoin fixes this in a way," he said.
“#Bitcoin fixes democracy…#Bitcoin is…free speech, property rights & open capital markets…tyrants need…the opposite: they need censorship…confiscation & closed capital markets”@gladstein — What Bitcoin Did (@WhatBitcoinDid) February 20, 2023
Gladstein is the chief strategy officer of HRF and has served the nonprofit organization since 2007. The foundation is focused on promoting and protecting human rights globally — particularly in countries where its people live “under authoritarian rule."
Gladstein also delivers lectures on Bitcoin and the future of money at Singularity University events, according to his bio.
Gladstein said during the interview that Bitcoin represents free speech, property rights and open capital markets, all of which are stifling to a tyrannical government, which often needs censorship, confiscation and closed capital markets. He stated:
“This is what China and Russia need to survive they need censorship, they need close capital markets and they need confiscation; Bitcoin makes it really hard for governments to impose those things on their people."
Both Russia and China have been hostile toward crypto in the past. The Chinese government banned virtually all crypto transactions in 2021. However, the upcoming crypto licensing regime in Hong Kong has led to speculation China’s stance on crypto is softening.
Russia’s major crypto law, “On Digital Financial Assets,” officially prohibited the use of crypto for payment purposes in 2020. The law did not ban Russians from investing in crypto, but local crypto exchanges have remained unregulated.
“I don’t see these dictatorial powers doing well in a Bitcoin standard; I think it becomes really hard for them,” Gladstein added.
Gladstein's argument about crypto has echoed similar views from others in the past. Bitcoin infrastructure provider OpenNode voiced similar opinions in a 2021 post about the benefit that BTC donations had in evading authoritative crackdowns.
“One of the benefits of Bitcoin is its censorship resistance,” OpenNode wrote at the time.
“Without any central authority to dictate who can and can’t use Bitcoin, it has proven to be the currency of choice for many individuals and organizations who have been left out of traditional payment methods."
According to a February 2022 investigation by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, one of the biggest reasons for embracing blockchain-based fundraising was to avoid traditional accounts being closed by financial institutions.
Gladstein predicts there will be many more “trigger moments” in the coming years of people having “technical and liquidity trouble with traditional financial services,” which will result in more people shifting to BTC as an alternative.
“If there’s a conflict or a breakdown in trade or communications, you’re just gonna see a whole hell of a lot of problems, and every single one of those is like a moment that’s gonna mint a new Bitcoiner out of necessity,” he said.
According to a press release on Feb. 20, FTX Japan, the Japanese subsidiary of troubled cryptocurrency exchange FTX, announced that the withdrawal of users’ fiat currency and crypto assets would commence via the Liquid Japan web platform at 12:00 pm on Feb. 21.
In November 2022, FTX Japan halted operations after its parent firm, FTX, filed for bankruptcy along with its 134 subsidiaries, freezing the assets of an estimated 9 million customers and billions of dollars locked in legal proceedings.
Per FTX Japan, customers who have assets in its accounts would need to confirm their balance and transfer them to their Liquid Japan account. Liquid Japan is a licensed Japanese crypto asset exchange that was acquired by FTX in April 2022. FTX Japan customers who do not have a Liquid Japan account are required to open one before receiving their assets.
“Please note that due to the large number of requests from customers, it may take some time for the withdrawal process to be completed. We will announce the resumption of other FTX Japan services as soon as possible.”
According to reports, FTX Japan had roughly 19.6 billion yen in cash worth more than $138 million when it ceased operations in November 2022. FTX Japan launched in June 2022 and, by Japanese law, was required to segregate client funds from its assets. On Nov. 10, 2022, the Financial Services Agency of Japan announced it had ordered FTX to suspend business operations, such as accepting new deposits, and to comply with a business improvement order. Due to bankruptcy proceedings, the vast majority of FTX customers, including users of FTX US, are still unable to withdraw their assets.
Crypto exchange Binance has launched a new update to its fan token platform that focuses on helping sports teams engage with their fans by offering various rewards to tokenholders.
In an announcement sent to Cointelegraph, the crypto exchange said that its fan club program will now let fans gather points they can exchange for rewards, including tickets to games, access to meet and greets, video clips from their favorite players and participation in exclusive dinners with the athletes.
Participants can collect points by participating in fan token activities like voting in polls or completing other tasks. Having a higher level of participation will allow fans to have access to better rewards.
Lisa He, head of NFT and fan tokens at Binance, argued that fan tokens are the future of fan engagement. The executive pointed out that the program can bring fans closer to their favorite teams through dinners with their favorite players or even a stadium tour. He explained that:
“Fan tokens allow sports fans to feel more connected to their favorite sports teams by allowing them to have access to exclusive offers and have a voice in team decisions for the club.“
In addition, He also said that their team believes that fan tokens are the “future of fan engagement, where clubs and their fans can feel closer to each other and have a two way relationship.“
According to Binance, the platform has been very successful, helping various clubs like Santos FC, Porto and SS Lazio engage with thousands of participating fans within the platform.
Binance has been consistently trying to link sports with the Web3 space. On June 23, 2022, the crypto exchange partnered with renowned soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo to help him connect with his fans through nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Holders of the NFTs will have exclusive opportunities to connect and engage with the soccer superstar.
On July 28, Binance also jumped into NFT ticketing right after the fiasco caused by counterfeit tickets at the UEFA Champions League. The crypto exchange partnered with SS Lazio to use NFT tickets for the club’s home matches at the Stadio Olimpico.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.