• Home
  • >News
  • >Opinion: Cryptocurrency is a Political Movement

Opinion: Cryptocurrency is a Political Movement

Cryptocurrencies are typically spoken about in a financial context. Most people can’t get through an entire sentence without referencing the price of bitcoin. But at the end of the day, does the price really matter? Sure, the financial implications of blockchain technology are broad. Blockchain and cryptocurrency have the potential to permanently disrupt the way we trade and transfer value around the world. A conversation that only gets mentioned once in a while, is the political implications of cryptocurrency. You can tell cryptocurrency is a political movement by who is participating in the revolution. There is no one group of people that are advocating for the use of cryptocurrencies. People from all walks of life, from every corner of the globe are jumping into the cryptosphere. Not only for financial reasons, but for political reasons. There is a strong argument to be made that the political ramifications of cryptocurrency outweigh the ongoing financial transformation.

bitcoin versus the dollar

Currency War stock illustration

The Financial Implications of Cryptocurrency

This conversation is a bit overdone at this point. However, it is worth outlining the financial implications for the sake of completeness of the argument. Cryptocurrencies are a part of the financial internet. In the 1990’s the internet accelerated the rate at which we trade, transfer, share information. The innovations of the internet have only increased the efficiency of how we post and spread knowledge. Cryptocurrencies are the next iteration of the internet. They allow us to trade, transfer, and share value. Cryptocurrencies are only 11 years old, but in this short time, they’ve demonstrated incredible value. They started out as an underground cypherpunk internet money, and are now on their way to being accepted, and endorsed by high profile individuals, companies, and countries. This fact brings us firmly into political territory.

The Weaponization of the U.S. Dollar

The power to drain, freeze, or seize one’s bank account is among the most dangerous weapons on earth. Political movements can be halted by the freezing or seizing of one’s assets that are stored within banks. In the recent Hong Kong protests, the US government froze the assets of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM). Earlier this year, the US threatened to freeze an Iraq bank account holding billions of dollars. The threat was in response to Iraq telling US troops to leave the country. In both of these situations, it highlights the ability for the U.S. government to use their power to alter geopolitical outcomes. The power that they have specifically, is the ability to control all aspects of the global reserve currency. The all mighty, U.S. dollar.

Every time the U.S. government uses their power to censor any entity, it highlights the value offering of cryptocurrencies. Most cryptocurrencies have the ability to exist autonomously, and independently of any nation state. This is a curious property, as nothing quite like this has existed on the planet thus far. It doesn’t even really matter if the U.S. government has good intentions while freezing bank accounts. To the entity whose bank account is being frozen, this is a big problem. It forces those entities to look elsewhere for their financial services. In effect, the U.S. government is weakening their own grip on the world economy. What they have done is weaponize the U.S. dollar. Cryptocurrencies are the world’s way of defending itself against such a weapon.

Cryptocurrencies are a Political Defence

The only real way to get out from under the grip of the U.S. dollar is to not use it. The value offering of cryptocurrencies increases exponentially when the U.S. dollar is weaponized. That’s because your exposure to risk increases as you engage in activities counter the U.S. agenda. As the risk of being shut out of your bank account increases, it is only reasonable for you to ponder alternative options for conducting monetary transactions. As the U.S. dollar degrades its own usefulness, the conversation about the next global reserve currency begins to take form.

The Ideal Global Reserve Currency

The question to ask is, what does an ideal global reserve currency look like? An ideal global reserve currency is one that is not beholden to any one country’s values. No one country has the ability to dictate how that currency get’s used on a global scale. Now that we live in a globally connected society, this is simply too much power for any one government to hold. A currency created by the United Nations still falls into the category of something that is subject to corruption. The problem is humans. People can be manipulated.

The ideal global reserve currency is one that is autonomous, and run by the people. The currency should be robust, as fair as possible, and value security above all. It should be a currency that does not discriminate based on geopolitical standing, nor socioeconomic status. It should be free, or extremely cheap to use, making it available to the people on the lowest rungs of the hierarchy. The U.S. dollar fails on almost every one of these dimensions. It is time for a new global reserve currency. It is time to recognize cryptocurrency as a political movement.