As we approach Human Rights Day on December 10, 2022, it is important to consider human rights and how Bitcoin works
According to Freedom House, approximately 2.977 billion people live under authoritarian regimes. If you live in a free economy where your rights are protected, you have access to financial services, and your national currency is relatively stable, then you most likely consider Bitcoin another speculative asset or store of value.
The privacy of financial transactions is eroding as transactions are rapidly shifting from cash to the digital world, which requires stringent Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures to be joined. You have the right to privacy and a private life under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 12), the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 8), and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 7). How does traditional finance violate your right to privacy, and how does Bitcoin deal with this?
“Without financial privacy, you have no political rights.” Andreas Antonopoulos described in his podcast how a group of Chinese protesters were tracked down for using subway cards during a protest. They learned a hard lesson about financial privacy during the previous protest, so they donned masks and paid for subway tickets in cash at the next protest.
Although controversial, JPMorgan Chase
Bitcoin’s role as money for freedom was best illustrated during Freedom Caravan, when the Canadian government froze donations to protesters that had been channeled through traditional state-controlled or regulated financial institutions. Since the government could not control, ban, ban or confiscate Bitcoin sent directly to protesters, they had to rely on Bitcoin donations to continue exercising their political rights.
By acting as a store of value that governments cannot amplify through central bank monetary expansion, Bitcoin gives people the right to own real estate. Due to corruption and irresponsible borrowing, a large number of emerging and emerging economies are burdened with debt. To keep up with paying off dollar debts, they are printing more of their currency, inflating it, and virtually stealing value from their fellow citizens with savings.
For example, in Nigeria, after a significant devaluation of the naira, the government implemented policies to reduce capital flight such as limits of $20 per month for its citizens. To protect its value from central bank printing, many Nigerians have turned to Bitcoin as a store of value and as a means of transacting internationally thus bypassing the limits of the US dollar.
Bitcoin protects your freedom to transact. You can send and receive value to anyone, anywhere as long as they have an internet-connected device or feature phone, as was pioneered by Machankura in Africa. The Machankura platform, currently available in nine African countries, allows Africans to send and receive Bitcoin using the Lightning Network without the need for an internet connection. On both feature phones and smartphones, the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) service is used.
Authoritarian regimes can use a wide range of individual or societal characteristics to justify freezing your bank account or discriminating against you. Religion, skin colour, sexual orientation, political views, country of birth, ESG views, and many other factors can be taken into account.
Bitcoin does not discriminate and provides a level playing field for everyone. Since the traditional financial system easily allows such regimes to bypass and freeze their funds, dissidents fighting against the evils of authoritarian regimes find Bitcoin as a platform to exercise their rights and freedoms.
Bitcoin gives you the right to freedom of movement because it has no limits. If you need to sail across the borders of different countries with your money, there are often quite a number of bottlenecks that you have to overcome including forex risks while Bitcoin allows you to move smoothly.
according to Anita Porsche, founder of Bitcoin For Fairness, 75 economies in the world limit women’s rights to manage assets. This differs from the inability of women to own or inherit property due to the laws and cultures of their countries. Bitcoin allows these women to secretly own Bitcoin and use it as collateral for loans.
Disclosure: I own Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
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