Protests Around the World are pivoting Towards CryptoOctober 20, 2020
The time of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is nothing if not turbulent. This characteristic is reflected in almost all aspects of daily life, but it is primarily seen in the domains of healthcare, economy, and politics. In any circumstance, these three, along with infrastructure and education, represent the backbones of any country in the world, no matter how developed it might be. However, when the economy and politics take the front and center of the stage, there is a sense that 2020 is all about economic troubles and endless political consolidations.
Because of this, the world has seen a range of social movements and even upheavals as the populations grapple with old grievances that are not meeting the pandemic chaos head-on. From the United States to Thailand, Nigeria, Belarus, and Hong Kong, a rising number of individuals, both organized and spontaneous, is looking to change the way things are done. It is apparent that the location of the country, its regular political system or even the level of prosperity do not play a key role. Instead, it looks like many locations across the globe are experiencing new waves of political and social protest.
Like with the novel coronavirus pandemic, no one can say for sure when and how will these end, and how will their native countries look like once that happens. As these struggles unravel, the noticeable presence of cryptocurrencies is nothing new. For more than two years, bitcoin has been associated with movements that are looking to oppose their central governments in some shape or form. This year, however, their use and adoption rates are apparently going through the roof in countries stricken with economic and political instability.
Causes of Dissent
The reasons why people all over the world are rebelling against the governments or regional power players are diverse as they are numerous. Most are basically fighting against their political classes which are well-established and often leave little room for improvement in the lives of less fortunate citizens. In other places, like for example in Nigeria, people are rebelling against police brutality or there might be calling for a re-examination of the elections that are held or how their votes are counted. While people are facing different types of challenges, it appears that the way to oppose them for more and more individuals and groups is gradually becoming public dissent, often demonstrated in the streets, as mass anti-system gatherings.
All of these descent moments have a similar concern in common. They are opposing entrenched and powerful political systems that exert a large amount of control inside of their borders. In this type of setup, it is hard not to include banks and other elements in the financial systems as an additional part of the same mechanism of control. Opposing these mechanisms and the wider system also must include an alternative means of attending things like protection savings and all other aspects of everyday finance. This was an issue in any grassroots social movement in history, but unlike these, those taking place today have a new means at their disposal that is already in use – cryptocurrencies.
Circumnavigating the Powers
From the media to the state apparatus and the highest levels of governance, the power to wield money is the power that rules. Again, throughout history, this was shown to be true time and time, while the 21st century did not change this basic dynamic of global influence. But, cryptocurrencies offer a way of working around that power and thus sowing the seeds of meaningful and sustainable dissent.
When it comes to payment services, anyone can set up their processing point using things like BTCPay, open-source software that uses bitcoin’s token as its main decentralized tool. There are no processing fees and no way to censor or break apart the payment pathways using third-party tools or even regulatory systems. Here, a person can get one BTC from another person anywhere on the planet and no government in the world has neither the means nor the know-how that they can be used to stop that process.
System in Practice
In Nigeria, a collective of activists is using the same setup even now to attain funding. The Feminist Coalition is accepting BTC donations in the struggle to end SARS, a branch of the police force that has been continuously accused of high levels of brutality in the country. Previously the bank account of the same organization has been shut down by the government agency that regulates financial dealings in the country.
The same organization then accuses the government of using it on official and unofficial ties to stop it from attending money and investing it in its struggle. Now, however, the Feminist Coalition and the groups around it can get donations, and not only that but also allow its supporters to provide them with money without risking getting on the government radar. This single example shows just how useful bitcoin can be in a setup where an entity in need of finance might have issues with using the traditional systems designed to do that.
Fiat Out, Crypto In
Around the world, the protester mounting and cryptocurrencies are starting to play an ever-bigger role in these moments. They are useful because they not only support political movements and the sent that is almost always justified, but also offer that essential glimpse into a more decentralized and more righteous world of finance. That ends up being an important example to everyone else, not just people protesting in individual regions or countries.
Instead, all can perceive that bitcoin and any other cryptocurrency is actually a tool, not an ideology one has to use along with the token. Like with esports, streaming services, or social media, blockchain technology offers a lot more than a simple platform for trading in digital value. To some around the globe, it represents the very pathway to free them and more liberties they are desperately trying to take from governments and other entities that have been working for decades if not centuries to deny them just that.