Bitcoin is becoming the currency of freedom for those living in tyrannical nations

"Bitcoin is a tool for freedom, for development, for folks like us, who are suffering from dictators, from tyrannical leaders," Fadi Elsalameen says.

Published: June 17, 2022 7:23pm

Updated: June 18, 2022 11:27pm

Because Bitcoin is decentralized and not controlled by any government, it can help people living in tyrannical countries, according to cryptocurrency experts.

As Executive director of the Texas Bitcoin Foundation, Natalie Smolenski, told "Just the News, Not Noise" television show last week: "Bitcoin is freedom money."

She noted that Bitcoin is generated through a computer process called "mining," rather than being issued by sovereign states.

"[T]he problem with traditional currencies — fiat currencies — is that they're all politicized. We've seen this recently in geopolitical events — for example, Russia's war with Ukraine. It is now possible for countries to have their sovereign reserves frozen and confiscated if they're in another government’s issued currency," Smolenski said.

"And so what we're moving toward is a more multipolar world, where it's not only contestation between governments, but between the people and their governments, that is coming to the fore. And so having a politically neutral form of money, one that can't be manipulated by central banks or by policymakers, is increasingly important for human freedom."

Earlier this month, 21 human rights leaders sent a letter to Congress, urging legislators to have an "open-minded, empathetic approach toward monetary tools that are increasingly playing a role in the lives of people facing political repression and economic hardship."

The letter was in response to another letter sent to Congress by "1500 computer scientists, software engineers, and technologists" asking lawmakers to "take a critical, skeptical approach toward industry claims that crypto-assets … are an innovative technology that is unreservedly good."

The human-rights activists wrote in their response, "Bitcoin provides financial inclusion and empowerment because it is open and permission-less. Anyone on earth can use it. Bitcoin and stablecoins offer unparalled access to the global economy for people in countries like Nigeria, Turkey, or Argentina, where local currencies are collapsing, broken, or cut off from the outside world."

Fadi Elsalameen, an adjunct senior fellow at the Bitcoin Policy Institute, who signed the letter with the human-rights activists, told the John Solomon Reports podcast, "Bitcoin is a tool for freedom, for development, for folks like us, who are suffering from dictators, from tyrannical leaders."

Elsalameen noted how women in Afghanistan are computer programming and "creating incredible code for companies outside Afghanistan, but are fearful for their lives. They don't want the Taliban to know that they are working. They're afraid of the Taliban seizing their bank accounts or seizing their money. The only way they're getting paid today is via Bitcoin."

In Ukraine, Elsalameen said, during the first few days of the war, "The only way people were able to help the Ukrainians get helmets, protective body armor, and ways to fight against the Russian occupation was to mobilize Bitcoin and cryptocurrency and send it in to buy protective equipment."

"Right now, people are looking at creative ways to use Bitcoin, to introduce aid to people who need it — in places like Syria, North Korea, where the government changes and completely destroys the value of the currency that you're holding in your pocket," he said.

"Bitcoin is not … just an investment, it's not a place where you can hold currency and protect the value of your wealth. It's a tool for people to literally stay alive, to literally escape the persecution and tyranny of these dictators around the world."

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